Modern Luxury: Louis Vuitton

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 “Vuitton Aventura will enable the Miami community to experience all the innovation, artistry and creative excellence this culturally sophisticated city deserves and which continues to define the Louis Vuitton Maison after more than 150 years.”

The name Louis Vuitton has always signified luxury, creativity and art. The high-end brand gives its Miami customers a taste of all things luxury in its inspired Aventura Mall location. The new store, which will replace the current location in Bal Harbour, is set to open July 1, but is temporary, as customers can expect an even more extravagant new retail location to open in fall 2012.

This 2012 store promises to provide its Miami customers with the enhanced shopping experience that only Vuitton could provide. The two-story structure is larger than the Bal Harbour store, and is complete with a grand staircase and extravagant exterior façade. Its spacious interior will showcase items from inventive ready-to-wear to luxurious accessories including shoes, jewelry and watches. Most significantly, it will follow the complex and grandiose global concept design of other Louis Vuitton stores.

The French fashion house has always shown a strong commitment to the arts, beginning with Louis Vuitton himself. The foundation of the company in 1854 was largely based on emerging trends in art and architecture. In fact, many of Vuitton’s early luggage pieces were custom-made for various conductors and composers. In being inspired by art, Vuitton created art of his own with his iconic trunks and sophisticated pieces of luggage. As the years went on, Vuitton’s grandson Gaston-Louis Vuitton kept the art theme alive, especially with the Art Deco-inspired Milano toiletry case, which boasted lavish textures and stones like leather, crystal and ivory.

While the luxury house draws inspiration from artists, they also work with the artists to create the bold and transcendent pieces the brand is known for.

Today, the brand continues to base itself upon the ever-changing creativity that creates intriguing, beautiful art, especially under the imagination and modernism of Artistic Director Marc Jacobs. Jacobs began at Louis Vuitton in 1997 and immediately reinvigorated the art vibe, forming his first collaboration with underground New York artist Stephen Sprouse. This resulted in the graffiti-inspired pieces of the spring/summer 2001 collection.

The following year, Jacobs went in a completely different direction, working with artist Julie Verhoeven, who designed a patchwork pattern for the brand. A friend of many artists and a collector himself, Jacobs has continued the infusion of art into the brand’s creations, which are as versatile as ever.

Perhaps the most intriguing quality of the house of Vuitton is just that – the artistry that combines both a traditional and established aesthetic with modern and bold influences. The monogram, a Louis Vuitton staple, has been transformed time and again to create both variety and vibrancy. This original pattern was given new life for its 100th anniversary in 1996 when designers like Manolo Blahnik and Vivienne Westwood were invited to create pieces using the iconic monogram design. The result was nothing short of stunning, as seen in Azzedine Alaia’s leopard skin version.

Another example of innovation in Louis Vuitton is the Speedy bag, originally known in its 1930’s launch as the Express. The intricate details like the coated waterproof canvas and Toron handles make this bag such a staple for the house that it’s been redone in various patterns. A new version of this beloved classic has emerged – the Speedy Bandoulière. Complete with an adjustable and removable shoulder strap, the bag is more versatile and comfortable than ever.

The new retail location stays true to the reputation Louis Vuitton brand has earned, due in part to its unwavering dedication to the arts. A designated space will display works by different world-renowned artists. The first artist is Vik Muniz, a main collaborator behind the 2011 Academy-Award-nominated documentary Waste Land.

Expectations for the Maison’s new Miami home are high, and Geoffroy van Raemdonck, president of Louis Vuitton North America, assures that the store will deliver. “Vuitton Aventura will enable the Miami community to experience all the innovation, artistry and creative excellence this culturally sophisticated city deserves and which continues to define the Louis Vuitton Maison after more than 150 years.”

This art-inspired house invites the community to enjoy a retail experience that is unmatched and take part in a piece of the innovation, excellence, and art de vivre that is Louis Vuitton.

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