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SAO PAULO, Brazil — Louis Vuitton on Thursday opened a 10,620-square-foot store in the Cidade Jardim mall here, its first global store in Latin America.
This story first appeared in the October 26, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“The opening is evidence of the confidence that we have in this country’s dynamic future,” said Yves Carcelle, president of Louis Vuitton. “Our Brazilian customers shop a lot abroad in our stores worldwide, but we feel that this is the time to ‘give back’ to our customers a new shopping destination in their own country.”
Local consumers will get a depth of Louis Vuitton products and services only recently discovered in JK Iguatemi stores such as Dolce & Gabbana.
The new store has a 45-foot facade and is beside CH Carolina Herrera and La Perla. The design was inspired by Peter Marino’s Vuitton Maison on New Bond Street in London, which opened two years ago, with Italian sand-colored marble, beige carpets, vintage Vuitton advertisements and Brazilian furniture, including sofas and chairs by Sergio Rodrigues, a star of Oscar Niemeyer’s generation. Objects such as leather cocktail cases, made as special orders in Asnière, the brand’s atelier outside Paris, will be exhibited and sold in the store. Three vintage pieces, such as the traveling foldable bed, will decorate the space, in a demonstration of Louis Vuitton’s roots.
The São Paulo store joins Vuitton’s existing four units in Brazil in Haddock Lobo, Iguatemi São Paulo and Brasília and Rio de Janeiro’s Gávea — and upcoming ones in Rio de Janeiro’s Village Mall, next month, and Curitiba’s Patio Batel, in 2013.
Vuitton’s 69th global store has many new characteristics. “This will be the first Louis Vuitton with a comprehensive product offer and a shopping universe which invites customers onto a journey to discover the art of travel,” said Carcelle. At the entrance, a traveling cabinet signed by the Campana Brothers — the highly praised Brazilian design duo — will be presented for the first time; only 12 will be sold worldwide at 35,000 euros, or $45,395 at current exchange, each. A travel room will hold all the luggage items available.
Men’s wear has been added, including the LV Cup sporty line, while a jewelry area (that will be closed by doors at night), offers pieces of the Lorenz Bäumer high-jewelry collection. Women’s wear has been expanded with a full offering of ready-to-wear, scarves and shoes, but the star of the store is the handbag offering, including a room reserved for “rare and exceptional” pieces made of ostrich, alligator, python and more difficult handwork, such as the perforated monogram pattern. The haute maroquinerie is the focus of the store, the 12th in the world: the customer is helped behind closed doors and may choose to personalize one of five shapes and eight leathers in 26 colors.
The store also offers a library with books edited by the house of Vuitton.
“It’s a world-class travel destination that will become a milestone in the region for years to come,” said Carcelle.