Louis Vuitton has expanded its presence in South Florida with its newest venue in Aventura, a posh suburb north of Miami. “Miami is one of our most vibrant markets with clients who appreciate refined and personal experiences of luxury. We are pleased to expand our already deeply rooted presence in Miami, a city we have called home for more than thirty years”, said Michael Burke, Chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton.
Architect Peter Marino designed the new Maison, one of the largest in North America. The façade is adorned with emblematic Louis Vuitton flowers, individually cast and hand set to usher the client into what the brand calls “a unique experience”. And going inside the haute locale is indeed a unique experience, based on the principle that “each individual deserves to own unique objects”.
A grand staircase made of polished stainless steel and glass, with handrails wrapped in LV’s signature nomad leather, connects the two stories of the magnificent space. Above it, a sculpture by Cuban-born artist, Jorge Pardo, commissioned exclusively for LV. The women’s ready-to-wear area is inspired by three of the four classical elements of Babylonian and Greek mythology: earth, air and sea, complemented with artwork by New York-based artist Dan Colen. The store also features a men’s universe section and a watch and fine jewelry area with a by appointment space accented by a golden gate that resembles a Milanese palace.
But the focal point is the store’s vestibule, which will showcase rotating exhibitions featuring the work of emerging and established contemporary artists. On opening night, the work of Janaina Tschape was displayed, a reminder of the brand’s commitment to the promotion of culture and the visual arts.
Even though the store is not an art gallery, it is easy to observe that Louis Vuitton treats its products as works of art. A curated assortment of leather goods, ready-to-wear, shoes, accessories, watches and jewelry are displayed with characteristic restrain and elegance. To enhance the uniqueness of the purchasing experience at Maison Aventura, the brand will introduce for the first time in North America a bespoke environment with “Made to Order” shoes for men and a “Haute Maroquinerie”: made to order leather goods for women.
On hand at the Aventura opening were proud artisans who demonstrated their craft in front of the select crowd of clients and friends. Luchino Visconti di Modrone, the French brand’s ambassador for the “Made to Order” shoe collection said that even though LV introduced its first line of shoes in 1998 to great acclaim, “customization is the last frontier of luxury, and, most of all, the most beautiful expression of savoir-faire passed on through generations. The objects of this customization were once Louis Vuitton’s trunks, today they are shoes, certainly the most personal of all men’s accessories.”
All Louis Vuitton shoes, including “Made to Order” footwear, are created at the Manufacture de Souliers Louis Vuitton atelier in Fiesso d’Artico, in Italy’s Veneto region, the realm of expert artisans since the 13th century, who combine centuries-old techniques (including painstaking Norwegian stitching) with cutting edge technology that translate into unsurpassable, elegant, contemporary footwear.
The male clients of Louis Vuitton Aventura are invited to immerse themselves in the process of creating their most comfortable and stylish shoes from the comfort of the Maison. They can choose from six classic and elegant shoe models, four types of soling and three different insteps that will define the footwear’s style and usage. A selection of fine leather, including calf, alligator, ostrich and python will complement the client’s personality and style. The leather is hand-cut in Italy and treated into eight distinct and deep shades: the hand patina. Initials can be embossed discretely inside the shoe for perfect customization. As we have said, the brand treats each piece as a work of art
But gals will also be pampered at LV Aventura. The Haute Maroquinerie salon allows the ladies to create their very own personal Louis Vuitton bag. They can choose among five iconic shapes in 26 colors, eight amazing types of skin and two sizes to design their own signature bag.
Louis Vuitton Aventura promises to be a mandatory stop for Miami visitors and residents. With bespoke products and detailed services, the Maison is poised to be the ultimate luxury destination in this sunny corner of the world. ■