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26 July 2012
Maison Louis Vuitton Shanghai
Louis Vuitton opens its first Maison in China at Shanghai’s Plaza 66, its 16th worldwide.
Singapore has its Maison Louis Vuitton ‘island’ at Marina Bay Sands, now China has its first – covering 4 levels at Shanghai’s Plaza 66.
Once again, the French luxury brand has enlisted architect Peter Marino to design the space.
Like all Louis Vuitton Maisons, the address at Plaza 66 is conceived as a travel destination in its own right.
On the ground floor, guests are first greeted by a five-metre high ‘pagoda’, a polished sculpture in stainless steel by Chinese artist Qiu Zhijie that sits at the foot of an oval gilded staircase at the heart of the store.
An oval skylight illuminates the gallery-like spaces, which are dedicated to leather goods, ready-to-wear for women and men, luggage, watches and jewellery, shoes and rare products. Meanwhile, planted terraces on the second and third floor overlook Nanjing West Road, encouraging visitors to take time to relax and enjoy the view.
Apart from the ‘pagoda’ on the ground floor, other specially commissioned artworks by Chinese and international artists highlight a sense of discovery. A sculpture by New York-based Teresita Fernandez hangs from the ceiling in the watch and jewellery space; art pieces by Anselm Reyle and Lionel Esteve can be found in the men’s and women’s fashion areas respectively; and travel-themed photographs by Jean Larivière can be admired near the service desks.
Guests privileged enough to receive a personal invitation to visit Louis Vuitton’s collections of Haute Maroquinerie in the fourth-floor private Apartment will also be welcomed by yet more artwork, including a wall sculpture by Chinese artist Gao Weigang, a unique painting by Bernand Frize and a series of photographs by Isaac Julien.
To commemorate the opening in Shanghai and to underscore the brand’s time-honoured links to travel, the Louis Vuitton Express made its journey east across two continents from Paris to Shanghai, reaching the famous Bund in Shanghai on 19 July. Blogger and photographer Todd Selby of The Selby was one of the lucky travellers! See his journey here.