BERLIN -- The global standardization of Louis Vuitton stores is continuing apace in Germany with the opening this month of a 5,000-square-foot global unit on Kurfurstendamm, this city's key shopping boulevard.
BERLIN -- The global standardization of Louis Vuitton stores is continuing apace in Germany with the opening this month of a 5,000-square-foot global unit on Kurfurstendamm, this city's key shopping boulevard.The new store offers the full range of Louis Vuitton luggage, small bags and leather goods, men's and women's apparel and footwear. It replaces the now-closed 850-square-foot shop on Fasanenstrasse, which first opened in 1986, and joins a 600-square-foot Louis Vuitton in-store shop for bags and leather accessories in Berlin's leading department store KaDeWe.Louis Vuitton, owned by French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, operates 10 doors in Germany. The Berlin store is the company's fourth global unit in the country, after Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich. And it's the largest, said Gianluca Brozzetti, Louis Vuitton president and managing director.Brozzetti, flanked at the opening by Francois Steiner, president of Louis Vuitton Europe, and Claus-Dietrich Lahrs, director of Louis Vuitton Germany, would not disclose the company's sales in Germany, nor make first-year projections for the new unit here. The three executives, however, were all optimistic about the outlook for Louis Vuitton in Germany, including Berlin, which is one of the country's more difficult retail markets. The capital city generally underperforms the rest of Germany, but according to Lahrs, Louis Vuitton is already considering opening a third door in Mitte in the former eastern part of the city in the next two or three years."Berlin is certainly not so flashy or glamorous as Dusseldorf, Munich or Hamburg, but there's serious money here and it's fine for us," Lahrs remarked. "I am more than convinced that Berlin will be a very important city for the luxury business in the next five years, and it's already strong. It's the most dynamic city around for young, hip people.""We were quite surprised when we opened the shop-in-shop in KaDeWe two years ago," Steiner added. Even though it was less than a mile from the Fasanenstrasse store, "we doubled our business overnight, selling to different customers. And every time we open a global store [in Germany], we're faced with a huge demand for ready-to-wear and shoes."Our image in this country seemed dated," he continued. "It didn't include the new items. But as we've seen in Frankfurt, Munich and Dusseldorf, when we enlarge our stores, providing the full range and more visibility for the product, our sales increase. We are fairly confident about Germany," Steiner stated.The new store here follows the global retail format designed by Peter Marino and found in Louis Vuitton doors opening worldwide. But in Berlin, as elsewhere, there are individual touches. The Kurfurstendamm unit is the first to utilize a ceiling lighting system spanned with white fabric, which also is planned for the new Milan store due to open in January. Other features particular to Berlin: The structured gray-beige plaster walls have been textured in a pattern similar to Louis Vuitton's Epi leather; and the dark wood floors in the entry and rtw departments are made from cumuru, a dense, robust South American wood. The store's exterior, however, is under landmark protection, and will remain in its original state. Built in 1903, the single- floor shop most recently housed the multilabel designer store Kramberg. Its immediate neighbors are Georges Rech and Hermes, with Jil Sander, Versace and Burberry across the street. It is one of the few large-scale spaces to have become available on this exclusive stretch of Ku'damm in years, and it was in high demand. "We beat out Armani by two days," Lahrs claimed.Louis Vuitton will operate 285 stores worldwide by the end of the year, Steiner said. "It might seem like a big number of stores, but if you consider that these are the only doors where you can get Vuitton, it's a very limited distribution."As reported in these columns, the French luxury brand has just opened global stores in New York and Hong Kong, as well as San Francisco and Costa Mesa, Calif. Tokyo Ginza bowed in early November, and an entire Louis Vuitton building opened in Seoul at the end of September. This flurry of activity, however, does not represent an expansion of the Louis Vuitton retail network, but rather "to qualify and requalify the network we have," Brozzetti emphasized."Of course, we have new territories where we're becoming more active," he added. He noted considerable growth in Latin America and upcoming projects in Eastern Europe, including Moscow, where Louis Vuitton is presently negotiating on a site. The company's presence in China is expanding, with its sixth store slated to open there, "and we're starting in India. It's an enormous market, and we're very well known. There's a history of Vuitton luggage there with the maharajahs," said Brozzetti.The Berlin opening kicked off with a party for 1,500 held in a vintage movie house. For those guests who started out the champagne-filled evening in the new store, getting to the Filmbuhne Wien was more than half the fun. Packed into yellow school buses, each passenger was handed three-dimensional glasses -- printed in the trademark LV shape, of course -- which turned the nighttime traffic on the boulevard to a mad whirl of flashing red Louis Vuitton logos.
To celebrate Pride 2018, @themarcjacobs released the #GratefulNotHateful campaign, a social media initiative aimed at extending Pride beyond the parade. Inspired by Jacobs’ everyday outlook, the campaign features Jacobs along with a group of models and social media stars who are members and supporters of the LGBT community, all seen wearing @marcbeauty’s Highliner Gel Eye Crayons in colors of the rainbow. Head to our Instagram stories to see close-ups of the liner. #wwdbeauty
Virgil Abloh’s dad Nee and Don Crawley, cofounder of RSVP Gallery, were some of the hometown crew at the Chicago-born designer’s debut show for Louis Vuitton. (📸: @jdiderich ) #wwdmens #louisvuitton #virgilabloh
About last night: @marycharteris and @adwoaaboah hit up Hyde Park for the Serpentine Galleries’ annual summer party held in partnership with @chanelofficial. Head to WWD.com to see more photos. #wwdfashion
“This is Paris, my first show. I’m all about democracy. If some kid shows up, flew from New Jersey to just be around, let’s get him a seat.” — @virgilabloh tells WWD’s @jdiderich ahead of his first show for @louisvuitton men’s. (📸: @alfredo_piola ) #wwdmens #virgilabloh #louisvuitton
“Kate Spade was a true fashion icon who brought joy to the lives of women around the world, and inspired women to live life to the fullest. We are dedicated to carrying on her legacy,” said Anna Bakst, brand president and chief executive officer of @katespadeny. The Kate Spade Foundation announced that it will be donating $1 million to suicide prevention and mental health awareness in tribute to the recent death of Kate Spade. Read more on WWD.com. #wwdnews (📷: @chinseephoto)
A first look at @virgilabloh’s sneakers for @louisvuitton. Abloh spoke to WWD about his debut collection for Louis Vuitton, creating @kendalljenner’s #metgala outfit and redefining the heritage brand. Read the full story on WWD.com. #wwdfashion 📷: @alfredo_piola)
The world’s largest producer of denim @iskodenim is sharing the strategy behind its product development process. Read our full interview with ISKO’s product development manager Baris Ozden on the company’s extensive research practices, upcoming denim trends and the latest material innovations on WWD.com. #iskodenim