French fashion house Louis Vuitton has close ties with the Italian city of Venice. It not only sponsors the architectural Biennale but also manufactures its shoe collection in Fiesso d’Artico, a nearby town that has been the home of the art of shoemaking since the 13th century.
As if to fortify ties with the city, the luxury brand opened a Louis Vuitton Maison – the brand’s elite range of superflagships housed in landmark buildings across the planet – in a heritage building that once belonged to the cinema Teatro San Marco. The historic building dates back to 1906 but was rebuilt by Italian architect Brenno Del Giudice in 1936. The flagship store measures a massive 1,200 sqm. [12,917 sq.ft.] spread over two floors.
Celebrating the city’s historic and cultural splendour, Louis Vuitton has gone the extra yard to spice up the lavish interior with a range of works by contemporary artists and designers such as Candida Höfer, Jean-François Rauzier and Humberto and Fernando Campana. Next to specially designed sections that display Louis Vuitton’s various collections, the store also features special facilities.
A luxuriously decorated private room is available for discreet shopping and fittings, and a bookstore on the top floor where shoppers can snap up glossy art books and major publications from Éditions Louis Vuitton. There’s a reading space furnished with sofas and a selection of prints that create a welcoming, relaxed vibe.
Also situated there is l’Espace Louis Vuitton Venezia, the luxury brand’s sixth exhibition place worldwide and which currently has a show which elaborates on Louis Vuitton’s connection with Venice. The fashion house also has partnered with Fondazione Musei Civici Venezia to sponsor the restauration of artworks and intends to exhibit these here at the venue, alternated by showcases of young artists. The opening of the flagship store pulled a slew of celebrities from Italy and abroad, including Patrick Louis Vuitton, the great-great-grandson of founder Louis Vuitton.