CUL­TURE CLUB

Louis Vuit­ton hosts an LA de­sign show­case with all the feels.

Robb Report (USA) - - Contents - BY ARI­ANNE NARDO

Louis Vuit­ton’s by-ap­point­men­tonly de­sign show­case el­e­vated the pri­vate shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence in a

rev­o­lu­tion­ary way.

Some­where be­tween the flash-sale web­sites and pop-up shops, we be­came im­pos­si­ble to please. Shop­ping used to be three­d­i­men­sional. You had to en­ter a space to par­tic­i­pate and then rely on pa­tience if things didn’t go ac­cord­ing to plan. Dig­i­tal has al­tered that con­tract, putting us closer to ev­ery­thing while dis­tanc­ing us from why we de­sired it in the first place. We long for new dis­cov­er­ies but feel in­con­ve­nienced when we have to pur­sue them.

All of this falls into the evolv­ing realm of brand ex­pe­ri­ence, as lux­ury mak­ers and pur­vey­ors look to hold our at­ten­tion. This is what made Louis Vuit­ton’s re­cent and very lim­ited spe­cial en­gage­ment, Mai­son Bev­erly Hills, such an in­trigu­ing pro­posal. For 13 days in May, the French house cre­ated a by-ap­point­ment-only ex­pe­ri­ence set in a con­tem­po­rary res­i­dence by Nile Ni­ami and ar­chi­tect Paul McClean.

It was a gath­er­ing of the com­pany’s clas­sic trunks, women’s col­lec­tion, furs, fra­grance, and game pieces. The Malle Artiste trunk—a deca­dent num­ber fea­tur­ing an easel, a fold­ing stool, canvas shelv­ing, and room for paints and sup­plies—was one of two items that had never been shown be­fore. Sev­eral ar­ti­sans were on-site, im­part­ing a priv­i­leged peek at the com­pany’s art in process.

LA is al­ways a will­ing ac­com­plice to myth-build­ing, but this house—all sun­light and stag­ger­ing views—was an in­spired choice for an­other rea­son. From the swim­ming pool to the glass-en­cased wine cel­lar, the space was equal to, but also pro­vided a strik­ing back­drop for, the main at­trac­tion: Ob­jets No­mades, the com­pany’s col­lec­tion of fur­ni­ture and de­sign.

Fash­ion has of­ten flirted with in­te­ri­ors, but Louis Vuit­ton wasn’t just mak­ing eyes.

The com­pany in­vited a group of se­ri­ous de­sign­ers—Mar­cel Wan­ders, Ate­lier Oï, In­dia Mahdavi, Fer­nando and Hum­berto Cam­pana, Pa­tri­cia Urquiola—to per­fect the trans­la­tion from fash­ion to fur­nish­ings. “What in­ter­ests me most about de­sign­ing for Louis Vuit­ton is what the brand has stood for all these years: dif­fer­en­ti­ated so­phis­ti­ca­tion,” says Dutch de­signer Mar­cel Wan­ders, whose leather Di­a­mond screen and Lounge and Lune chairs were show­cased through­out the house.

A to­tal of 19 lim­ited edi­tions from Ob­jets No­mades and Les Petits No­mades—the decor and ac­ces­sories range—were poised in this res­i­den­tial set­ting, where guests could wan­der, touch, and pur­chase. Given that the home col­lec­tion is typ­i­cally seen only at ma­jor de­sign events like Salone del Mo­bile in Milan or in se­lect bou­tiques, this was a rare chance to en­gage with the de­signs in a prac­ti­cal way— how blue is that Co­coon swing chair? How does a fam­ily of Tabouret stools look gath­ered around a ta­ble, and how does it feel to sit on them? “The

“The era of e-com­merce is over. To­day, prox­im­ity is in or­der. Per­sonal re­la­tion­ships in­stead of anonymity.” ”

— ARMAND LOUIS

era of e-com­merce is over,” says Armand Louis, co­founder of Ate­lier Oï. “To­day, prox­im­ity is in or­der. Per­sonal re­la­tion­ships in­stead of anonymity.”

View­ing fur­ni­ture out­side of a show­room or bou­tique is so un­com­mon that it’s al­most rev­o­lu­tion­ary. Louis Vuit­ton un­der­stands the power that a good in­te­rior ex­erts; the brand has com­mis­sioned elite ar­chi­tect Peter Marino to de­sign and em­bolden sev­eral of its stores (the most re­cent one opened this sum­mer in Costa Mesa, Calif.).

At the lux­ury fur­ni­ture level, in­te­ri­ors are as im­por­tant as the pieces they host. “When I cre­ate some­thing for peo­ple to phys­i­cally use, I start with the hu­man form,” says Wan­ders. “I con­sider how the body is shaped and how the de­sign will con­nect with their spirit. I also con­sider the spa­tial ori­en­ta­tion of the in­te­rior set­ting. What kind of room will it be set within? What mood can it cre­ate by it­self? Plac­ing the Lune chair and Lounge chair into a mem­o­rable in­te­rior al­lows them to be seen as seam­less ap­point­ments that com­plete the ex­pe­ri­ence—or re­de­fine it. I could not think of a bet­ter way to dis­play the style and al­lure of these pieces.”

As an im­mer­sive en­vi­ron­ment, Mai­son Bev­erly Hills el­e­vated the pri­vate bou­tique ex­pe­ri­ence. It also af­firmed an eter­nal de­sign truth: Con­text is ev­ery­thing.

View­ing fur­ni­ture out­side of a show­room or bou­tique is so un­com­mon that it’s al­most rev­o­lu­tion­ary.

A se­lec­tion of hard­sided Louis Vuit­ton trunks and hat­boxes go pool­side.

The Malle Artiste trunk was shown for the first time at Mai­son Bev­erly Hills.

A red Bom­boca sofa by the Cam­pana broth­ers holds court in the liv­ing area.

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