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Louis Vuitton: Stunning spaces inside & out |

Sunday Lifestyle

Louis Vuitton: Stunning spaces inside & out


MANILA, Philippines - A prescient advocate of contemporary interiors and architecture, Louis Vuitton continues to encourage innovation and playfulness in the design of their retail spaces without losing sight of the essence of luxury central to the brand’s identity.

Now, a book captures all this. Louis Vuitton : Architecture & Interiors, limited edition, has three different covers combined with three different slipcases for a collector series: New York Fifht Avenue set, photograph cover and debossed silver cloth slipcase with LV Monogram pattern; Tokyo Namikidori set, photograph cover and debossed gold cloth slipcase with flower Monogram pattern; and Hong Kong Landmark set, photograph cover and debossed copper cloth slipcase with damier pattern.

This process of designing space dramatically display fashion and accessories has created a dynamic outlet for cutting-edge architecture, and has transformed city streetscapes. This exploration of Louis Vuitton’s international stores, as well as industrial sites and unrealized projects, includes interviews with some of today’s most talented architects and designers who discuss the beautiful and complex structure they have produced in collaboration with Louis Vuitton. This book examines the physical aspects of these buildings as well as the idea that went into their composition. Acting as both a backdrop for luxurious retail goods and the physical manifestation of the brand, these spaces are a genre unto themselves. With sumptuous finishes and unexpected textures, these frantastic buildings represent the intersection of fashion and interior design. An exploration of the dynamic and innovative architecture and interiors commissioned by Louis Vuitton, this book illustrates the correlation between fashion, interior design, and architecture and will appeal to anyone with an interest in innovative retail design.

Mohsen Mostafavi writes in the foreword:

The Louis Vuitton store in Sakae, Nagoya

“Fashion and architecture have had an increasingly closer liaison recently. But the current fascination of the one for the other — architecture as the prop for the display of fashion, and fashion as the prerequisite for all that is architectural — has only helped to mask the longevity of their association.

“If popularity and newness are considered as the main characteristics of fashion, then it is undeniable that architecture has for a long time been pursuing similar aspirations…

 “In the more recent past, it is the architecture of minimalism that has provided the most explicit and significant contribution to the reciprocal relationship between fashion and architecture.

“In many ways the abstraction and literally emptiness of minimalism has been an ideal setting for the valorization of fashion — a technique not dissimilar in its impact to the exotic settings of nineteenth-century department stores, both ultimately leading to the construction of desire.

“If minimalism focused on the solitude of reification, Louis Vuitton’s strategy has been to create desire on a scale approaching a new mass hysteria. At least this seems to be the case in Japan. Before the opening of the new Louis Vuitton store in Omotesando in 2002, in the heart of Tokyo, thousands of people waited patiently to gain entry into this Alladin’s cave.

“Many slept on the pavement outside the store for two nights or more in anticipation of acquiring their favorite limited edition items.

Espace Lunettes in New Bond Street

“In contrast to the recent emphasis on interior spaces for the display of fashion, the architectural explorations of Louis Vuitton documented in this volume primarily concert the outside of buildings, their appearance — with a few notable exception.

“Louis Vuitton has for far had a policy of fitting their stores across the world with similar interiors that provide a consistent image of understated luxury. It is against the stability of these repeatable interiors that the company has been developing its explorations with the external skin over the last decade.

“These developments, however, must be seen as part of a longer and more systematic architectural project. Because of the nature of the work — fashion — it is inevitable that this project will always be in transition.

“Nevertheless, the architectural achievements of the last few years have revealed a number of additional topics that will need to be addressed over time.

“The connections between the inside and outside of the buildings, the size and scale of their operations, the flexibility and temporality of their interiors: these are examples of the types of questions that will in part draw their responses from the dynamics of circumstance, including those of the marketplace of architecture.

“The organizational structure for handling architectural projects at Louis Vuitton is different from most other brands. The main difference is the presence of an in-house architecture department that acts as architect and/or client, depending on the project. In reality, even when the architecture department commissions outside designers its involvement is directly architectural, interventionist yet supportive. This unusual condition is allied with the fact that the company has, at least up to now, only worked with architects who have been willing to fully participate in an ongoing collaborative project.

“In marked contrasts to those companies that have used ‘signature’ architects, the architectural projects of Louis Vuitton can be seen to be based on an evolutionary co-development of the LV brand and its own distinct architectural identity.

“We are now at a period when the luxury retail store has become a crucial forum for architecture. A previously off-limits relationship has now found mutually beneficial common ground. Through the realization of numerous projects, the architecture department at Louis Vuitton has been involved in establishing this new territory, and continues to pursue the exploration of architecture in a continually changing present.”

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