For fashion houses occupying retail space in Miami’s more-popular-than-ever Design District, the neighborhood inspires store concepts that go above and beyond the typical Fifth Avenue setup. For Louis Vuitton, this means a brand new exhibition space on the third floor of its Miami shop. Opening with a cocktail party ahead of Art Basel Miami Beach on Wednesday evening, Vuitton is staging its Objets Nomades collection — a special collaboration of foldable furniture and travel accessories. The collection, which launched during Design Miami in 2012, pays homage to the company’s historic trunks by inviting both up-and-coming and established designers to create home goods such as chairs, hammocks, lamps and tables out of Vuitton leather and materials.
A total of 10 designers are now involved in the program, including Brothers Campana, Patricia Urquiola and Maarten Baas. This year, Raw Edges, Damien Langlois-Meurinne and Gwenaël Nicolas were added to the roster during Milan Design Week. In Miami, Dutch designer Marcel Wanders will debut a foldable lounge chair, one in tan leather and one in turquoise blue, inspired by Ocean Drive in South Beach.
“It’s not made especially for Miami — it can go anywhere, but I would not expect it to sit in my ski resort,” Wanders says. “It’s a piece you would take to a nice warm climate, sit in the sun and drink martinis. So we wanted to find a color that we feel represents Miami in a fun way. It’s kind of different and iconic.”
Seventeen “objets” will be for sale at the Vuitton store, ranging in price from $4,300 to $81,500. Raw Edges, helmed by Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay, created collapsible chairs, light shades and tables; Barber & Osgerby designed hanging lamps, and Atelier Oï has a leather hammock in the collection. All have been created in collaboration with Vuitton — something that can be easier said then done.
“To be honest, the big challenge for us in the process was to find a product that is innovative, iconic and different,” Wanders says. “It had to be an object that makes sense to bring somewhere and be collapsible, which has a kind of transient concept behind it, and yet to have a super high quality identity.”
Wanders says they worked on seven other prototypes over the course of two years before landing on the lounge chair. “Realizing the piece in all the perfect detail, it took us maybe nine months or so, but to really get the right concept took a long time,” he says.
The exhibition will be open to the public from Thursday through Feb. 10.
Louis Vuitton Design District Store
140 NE 39th Street, Miami
Monday-Saturday 10:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
Sunday noon-6 p.m.