PARIS — The way to the heart of a luxury lover is also through the stomach.
Antoine Arnault hosted a lunch at the famed Taillevent restaurant here last week to give a sampling of French gastronomic savoir-faire — and to unveil further details of the second edition of Journées Particulières, when LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton opens the doors of its workshops to the public.
This story first appeared in the May 21, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Before he even hoisted his glass of Veuve Clicquot, a silky 2004 vintage Champagne, online registration to visit 10 Paris sites had opened — with thousands of available spaces disappearing within 10 minutes.
Reservations to visit Emilio Pucci, Bulgari, Zenith and Acqua di Parma are up for grabs at noon Central European Time today. (LVMH reserves half of the available spots on a first-come, first-served basis.)
“We weren’t sure of the success of this initiative,” Arnault, a director at LVMH and chief executive officer of Berluti, said of the debut event in October 2011, which attracted 100,000 visitors with its 25 attractions.
Come June 15 and 16, more than 40 LVMH brands across Europe will participate, giving insight into the making of leather goods, couture dresses, fine jewelry, rare liquors and high-end watches.
While guests at last week’s lunch tucked into a delicate ring of crabmeat decorated with a floral formation of paper-thin radishes, Arnault enthused about the passion of LVMH’s artisans, who eagerly volunteered to don their aprons for the weekend event. “They are so proud to show what they can do,” he said.
The showcase capitalizes on heightened public interest in heritage, and comes at a time when quality attributes are pivotal talking points for luxury brands.
Visitors can discover grand buildings, including Hennessy’s tasting offices in Charente et Bordelais, France, or Chaumet’s headquarters in a townhouse on the Place Vendôme, where the steps in creating a high jewelry collection will be revealed.
Other LVMH brands are taking a high-tech route. Kenzo, for example, plans to stage a 3-D holographic fashion show in addition to standard visits of its atelier and studio.