In early March, Nicolas Ghesquière boldly recreated the brightly-hued pipes of the Pompidou inside the Louvre in Paris for his autumn/winter 2019 womenswear show. This week, the luxury fashion house brings French savoir-faire to a brutalist Grade II listed building in Knightsbridge, as Louis Vuitton reopens on Sloane Street.
The newly designed boutique has been completely renovated to reveal the property’s original features - all soaring light and cantilevered concrete - with swathes of signature tan and chocolate brown furnishings. An original skylight was uncovered during the build, flooding the premises with natural light.
Behind a double-glass façade, leather goods and travel accessories draw you into the boutique, alongside watches and jewellery. Fragrance follows, which will soon include Vuitton’s first-ever unisex scent collection, Les Colognes, launching this April.
Vuitton's ability to make a home in this Brutalist, decidedly non-Vuitton building is reflective of the brand's ability to adapt and keep modern. Case in point: Virgil Abloh’s brightly coloured menswear collection in the basement, which places a contemporary, streetwear spin on the French heritage brand. Since Abloh’s appointment as artistic director of Louis Vuitton Menswear in 2018, the category’s success and has been insurmountable, steering the brand in a digitally-savvy direction, while still honouring the prestigious codes of the house.
The Sloane Street boutique also houses a special Rare & Exceptional personalisation service, allowing clients to create bespoke pieces and customise red carpet gowns worn by Emma Stone, Julia Roberts and Chloë Moretz. This made-to-measure offering, previously only available in Paris, takes place in a private salon, where the Vuitton’s storied history as a trunkmaker-turned superbrand is reflected in the photographs and ephemera that hang on the wall.
The Louis Vuitton Bond Street boutique, considered the big brother to the Sloane Street outpost, is also currently under construction, poised to reopen later this year. For now, the future of the LVMH-owned fashion house looks bright in London – or should that be rare and exceptional?
190-192 Sloane Street, Belgravia, London SW1X 9QX, louisvuitton.com