On 4th October 2017, Louis Vuitton will open the Maison Louis Vuitton Vendôme, a new gem set in this most storied of Parisian squares. The Maison, at 2 Place Vendôme, newly designed and re-instated by architect Peter Marino, marks the House’s grand return to where its story began over 160 years ago, when a young Louis Vuitton opened his first store.
Travel goods, fashion and jewellery have been part of Place Vendôme and its neighbourhood for over 300 years, and it was in these streets that Louis Vuitton learned his craft and where he founded his first store in 1854.
When the new Louis Vuitton Maison opens its doors on 4th October 2017, it will reunite Place Vendôme and the House’s traditional métiers. Couture, ready-to-wear, jewellery, watchmaking, leather goods, shoes, fragrances, accessories, and artisanal workshops will be brought together, all in one place, all on one Place.
This venue is very symbolic for Louis Vuitton as the Place Vendôme – just like
the Château of Versailles – is one of the most beautiful examples of French artistry of the 17th-century. Under the impulse of Louis XIV and Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the Château of Versailles became the cradle of French luxury and a showcase for French craftsmanship and savoir-faire around the world. Both designed and built by architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart, Place Vendôme and Versailles share
a heritage that today remains important to Louis Vuitton.
These two beautiful examples of French artistry embody the type of elegance and dedication to craft that is today the realm of Louis Vuitton. As the worthy heir to this tradition, it was only natural for Louis Vuitton to establish workshops and showcases its creations at the heart of Place Vendôme, thus ensuring that the legacy continues for future generations.
The Maison is situated in two hôtel particuliers – classic Parisian townhouses – which, over the years have been home to courtiers, nobles, aristocracy, the occasional princess and the future emperor Napoléon III. Once known as Hôtel Baudet de Morlet and Hôtel Heuzé de Vologer, these hôtels were completed in 1714, but greatly altered over
the years, including a particularly destructive “renovation” in the 1980s.
Architect Peter Marino has now returned these two buildings to their former glory: floors have been returned to their 18th-century grandeur, ceilings to their original heights (nearly five metres on the first floor), and the façade, designed by the architect
of the Palace of Versailles, Jules-Hardouin Mansart, has been sensitively restored. Throughout the Maison, Peter Marino has deftly blended the old and new, employing techniques and materials that reference French history and craftsmanship, while carefully integrating ultra-modern designs. Behind the original façade, the Maison has been designed to be open and filled with light. The extensive use of glass, light-coloured stone, artisanal wall coverings, and beautiful parquet and stone flooring allows each floor to subtly assert its unique character, while remaining part of a coherent whole.
On the ground floor, natural light from the extensive number of windows and doorways illuminates the leather goods, accessories, textiles, fragrances and, on the Place Vendôme side, a full range of jewellery and timepieces. Louis Vuitton men’s universe is upstairs on the mezzanine and its herringbone parquet, with leather goods, ready-to-wear including the formal offer, shoes, travel items and accessories displayed on leather- lined shelving. The stairs, which continue to the first floor, provide high levels of contrast: 18th century design in stone completed with ultra-modern high-tech glass balustrades suspended by stainless steel cables. On this first floor are the women’s ready-to-wear, shoes and accessories, presented in a beautifully airy, high-ceilinged space with richly intricate Versailles parquet. On the second floor, travel-related items
– from Louis Vuitton City Guides and travel books to luggage – share space with the Objets Nomades, a collection of designer travel and home related objects, offered for the first time in France on a permanent basis. There is also a hot-stamping desk and a Savoir-faire corner, the latter being the House’s first permanent space offering demonstrations of Louis Vuitton’s traditional know-how to clients. On the Place Vendôme side, the second floor hosts the Appartement, where clients can be invited for private viewings of the collection.
The Maison Louis Vuitton Vendôme will be home to two working ateliers, representative of the House’s ancestral savoir-faire. The haute joaillerie atelier, hidden away discreetly under the eaves, is where Louis Vuitton’s jewellers will transform exceptional precious stones into the House’s most exclusive high jewellery.
In the Atelier Rare & Exceptionnel, celebrities and the House’s most prestigious clients will have the chance to discover remarkable pieces from the latest collections. These can then be fitted and customised by the atelier’s in-house artisans, who will also be available to fashion exclusive red-carpet gowns.
Louis Vuitton and arts
At the Maison Louis Vuitton Vendôme, the House’s full product offer will sit alongside a selection of contemporary artworks, some specially commissioned. The 33 works, representing artists from 6 continents including Laurent Grasso, Yan Pei Ming, Stephen Sprouse, Serge Alain Nitegeka and Paul Nabulumo Namarinjmak, will be
on show throughout the Maison.
The Louis Vuitton archives have chosen two historical trunks to display at the Maison. The first is a Library Trunk, a style originally designed by Gaston-Louis Vuitton (1883-1970) for his personal use. This example, was ordered in 1933 by Mrs. W., a celebrated journalist, playwright and Hollywood screenwriter, and has space for books and a typewriter. The second piece is a 1917 Steamer Trunk, a recent addition to the House’s archives. Its presence in the Maison is fitting: its original owner, Mr. O., was one of Paris’ most admired and influential jewellers for over two decades and for many years was based only a few doors away at 16 Place Vendôme.
Since 1854, Louis Vuitton has been synonymous with the Art of Travel and this remains the foundation of the Maison Louis Vuitton Vendôme’s product offer. These products show Louis Vuitton’s commitment to the finest craftsmanship and materials, technical and stylistic inventiveness, and an absolute attention to finishing touches.
Highlights at the Maison include:
The Maison’s focus on contemporary art and artists will also be celebrated
with a preview launch of the second chapter of Masters, the continuing collaboration between the House and Jeff Koons. A new painting from Koon’s ‘Gazing Ball’ series, based on a work by a French Old Master, will be exclusively launched
for the occasion of the Maison’s opening. The Masters collaboration sees
the New York-based artist’s reinterpretations of Masters’ paintings transposed
onto the canvas of iconic Louis Vuitton bags, including the Speedy, Keepall
and Neverfull, using innovative printing techniques. The exclusive pieces
will be unveiled and released at the Maison as a preview of the main collection launched in November.
An exclusive version of the Capucines bag will be launched at the opening
of the Maison Louis Vuitton Vendôme. This new version of the Louis Vuitton classic, named after Rue Neuve-des-Capucines, the House’s birthplace, is crafted
in shaded metallic crocodile skin and features an elegant two-tone “V” clasp.
Also arriving in Place Vendôme are the Objets Nomades, the House’s unique collection of travel and home objects created in collaboration with some of the world’s most renowned designers. For the Maison’s opening, the Campana Brothers’ sensuous Cocoon chair will be accompanied by Marcel Wanders’ elegant Lune Chair
and delicate Diamond Screen, Tokujin Yoshioka’s Monogram-inspired Blossom Stool, and India Mahdavi’s marquetry Talisman table. Beautiful lighting
will be provided by Raw Edges’ Concertina shades and Atelier Oï’s Spiral Lamp. The Maison’s selection of Objets Nomades will be renewed every three months giving clients access to the full collection of 25 objects.
The Maison’s opening will be marked by the creation of three exceptional high jewellery sets, specially designed and produced by the haute joaillerie workshop. Inspired by the most recent Louis Vuitton high jewellery collection, Conquêtes, the pieces highlight the House’s passion for remarkable craftsmanship, artistry, and the most beautiful gemstones, such as Paraiba tourmalines and mandarin garnets.
Fifteen years ago, Louis Vuitton created the iconic Tambour recognizable thanks to the unique shape of its case. The latest addition to the collection, Tambour Moon Tourbillon Volant “Poinçon de Genève”, highlights a skeleton movement revealing its mechanism and a “Geneva Seal”, the highest quality standard in watchmaking. For the opening of the Maison Louis Vuitton Vendôme, La Fabrique du Temps,
the Geneva watchmaking manufacture of Louis Vuitton, has created a remarkable version of this new Tambour, made with 296 diamonds inlaid on the case
and movement. Perfect illustration of the watchmaking know-how of Louis Vuitton, the Tambour Moon Tourbillon Volant “Poinçon de Genève” set, is an absolute exclusivity.
Maison Louis Vuitton Vendôme, 2 Place Vendôme, 75001 Paris, will open on 4th October 2017