Louis Vuitton Store - Japan by Japanese Architect Jun Aoki

Louis Vuitton: Architecture and Interiors (Highlight)


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Just don't call them luxury. "I am totally throwing up over the L word right now," says Marino, who alone among the smooth, money-oiled LVMH machine is gloriously off-message. "The PR department will keep pushing that word, but since when did retail have to be so self-important and serious?" When Marino was first approached for this project, he refused – because he had designed the previous Louis Vuitton store on the same site, legend has it he said it would be "like eating my babies" – but he changed his mind. Are you happy now, I ask him? "Do you mean philosophically, or emotionally? I think maybe I'm too old now to be happy emotionally. But I try to be happy philosophically."

Louis Vuitton makes a bold move in Tokyo by opening a new store in the shopping district of Shinjuku. The French luxury house already operates two boutiques in the area, but has now added its first standalone store on street level. Strategically located a few blocks away from Shinjuku station, one of the city’s major transportation hubs, it occupies two expansive floors of a modern structure which features a newly redeveloped façade with the brand’s signature damier pattern and, especially for the opening, balloon-infused window installations by Vuitton fan and american film director Sofia Coppola. The shop is a serene oasis of polished timber, glass and furnishings similar to other Louis Vuitton stores across the planet.

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current10:28, 6 January 20061,600 × 1,100 (431 KB)Chris 73 (talk | contribs)Louis Vuitton store in Omotesando in Tokyo, January 2005 {{User:Chris 73/License}} Category:Brands Category:Omotesando

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Which is daft, of course. But then the Louis Vuitton belief that retail is about emotion looks less and less silly with every set of figures the company releases. LVMH, the fashion house's parent company, reported 11% sales growth in the first three months of this year, rewards reaped from audacious global expansion – last month, two new Louis Vuitton stores opened in Shanghai in one day – and from a strategy of focusing on the brand's heritage in a more glamorous age of travel, which has hit a chord with customers. Research in Japan, where 60% of households own a genuine Louis Vuitton product, suggests consumers are prepared to pay 50 times as much for the real thing as for a fake, even if the products appear identical, because of the feeling of "specialness" they get when they purchase the real thing.

The new Louis Vuitton Flagship store is designed to reflect the 21st century mood of London and bring together innovation, heritage and fashion.