By  on July 31, 2007

Who says summer is a slow time in the fashion world? WWD reported over the past few weeks that LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton has plans to revamp Spanish brand Loewe. Milan's leading department store made over its third floor in the hope of bolstering sales. And Bottega Veneta celebrated the opening of its newest store in Florence.

LVMH is replacing Jose Enrique Ona Selfa, previously at the helm of Loewe for the past six years, with Stuart Vevers. Vevers, the design director for Mulberry, fits the profile of exactly what LVMH wanted, according to Pierre-Yves Roussel, chief executive officer of LVMH's fashion division. "We have been making operational changes at the brand recently. Now we want to emphasize Loewe's strong point — leather goods — with someone who can make desirable handbags," said Roussel. Vevers' previous stints at Givenchy and Louis Vuitton proved him worthy of the top creative position at Loewe. He will join the 160-year-old brand in Madrid on a full-time basis in January.

La Rinascente, the premier outlet of Milan, has undergone a facelift. The store, which faces the Duomo cathedral, wants customers to indulge in fresh and trendy clothes and accessories to update their wardrobes when they shop. Vincent Van Duysen, the Dutch architect who has also done work for Dries Van Noten and Selfridges, designed the revamped 24,480 square foot third floor. Key materials on the floor include bleached oak floors and grid panels, polished basalt columns, sanded steel and cube installations in gray varnish, oak and lacquered canopy. The floor carries designers such as Pinko, Laltramoda, Target, Vanessa Bruno, Diesel, Seven For All Mankind, True Religion, Velvet, DVB, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Cacharel, See by Chloe, Moschino Cheap & Chic, Valentino Red and Philosophy by Alberta Ferretti.

Bottega Veneta's newest store is located at the central historic Palazzo Tornabuoni-Corsi in Florence. It moved from its previous location on the Arno River. The new site, which was a bank, is a two-level, nearly 4,000 square foot space which carries accessories, footwear, and ready-to-wear for both sexes. The new store is bursting with luxury, from the ultrasuede presentation pads, to the mohair furniture upholstery, to the custom dyed, New Zealand wool carpets. At the same time it still maintains the traditional details of the building."Perhaps because we are a company built on craftsmanship, this space felt like a gift," said creative director Tomas Maier, "It's a renowned historical building, designed by a brilliant architect, with many original interior elements intact....There's nothing we like more than adapting our store design to an extraordinary space." The luxury brand, which has 109 stores worldwide, opened 14 stores in the first half of 2007. A few more are expected to open in the second half.

To read articles relating to this story, please see:

1. Vevers Tapped As Designer at Loewe
2. La Rinascente Gets Sophisticated Update in Milan
3. Former Bank Houses Bottega Veneta Unit

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