Louis Vuitton has thrown open the doors to its hotly anticipated Parisian flagship store Maison Louis Vuitton Place Vendôme, designed by Peter Marino.
The location represents the fashion house’s return to the Parisian square where its eponymous founder opened his first trunk shop 160 years ago.
Spread across two 18th-century hôtel particuliers, with façades running along both Place Vendôme and Faubourg St Honoré, the emporium has been conceived with an eye on both heritage and modernity.
‘I thought I would juxtapose a modern aesthetic to everything within the walls and restore as beautifully and faithfully as possible the exterior,’ explains Marino. ‘The balance between modern and old, is for me, what Paris is all about’.
The elegant stone buildings remain as they were designed by Versailles architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart in 1714, with the striking addition of a vast sunburst installation by Louis Vuitton’s visual creative director Faye McLeod.
Inside, light and space dominate with historic stone facing off with sleek glass and stainless steel fittings. ‘Ultramodern insertions bring an element of transparency, increasing the flow of natural light within the space,’ Marino says. ‘We filled in what was a courtyard between the two townhouses – now a double-height space with a skylight introducing daylight from above.’
Contemporary pieces by 22 artists from six continents covers the walls, including a portrait of the young Louis Vuitton by Yan Pei Ming. Annie Morris’s trademark coloured globes line the staircases while custom light sculptures by Philippe Anthonioz illuminate the corners. There are archival pieces tracking the brand’s heritage, including a Library trunk ordered by a Hollywood screenwriter in 1933.
As befits a brand that started out making luggage, there is a dedicated travel section, but the store demonstrates the breadth of the Louis Vuitton universe, with areas for leather goods, textiles, fragrance, jewellery and men’s and women’s ready to wear. Monograms can be done on-site at the hot stamping desk in the savoir-faire area.