PARIS — When Nicolas Ghesquière touches down in Rio de Janeiro next month to stage Louis Vuitton’s cruise show, it will be at a sleek building that resembles a flying saucer.
Vuitton’s artistic director of women’s collections has selected the Niterói Contemporary Art Museum — a landmark by celebrated Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer overlooking Guanabara Bay — as the venue for the May 28 event, WWD has learned.
It falls roughly three months before the Summer Olympics in Rio; coincides with the 20th anniversary of the museum, soon to reopen following a major renovation, and is billed as the first time the Niterói has hosted a fashion show.
The French leather goods giant is to support four exhibitions over the next year, with the first, titled “Ephemera,” slated to open in June and featuring works by artists including Lygia Clark, Cildo Meireles and Antonio Dias.
Last year, Louis Vuitton staged its cruise show in an otherworldly John Lautner building in Palm Springs, Calif., belonging to the Bob and Dolores Hope estate.
According to Ghesquière, showing a collection in a groovy building is “about being transported into a relationship where nature, geography and architecture come together.”
Niemeyer likened his white modernist structure to a flower, with a reflecting pool surrounding its cylindrical base and a curving red ramp that will serve as a striking “carpet” for Vuitton’s celebrity guests.
The increasingly itinerant fashion season is to begin on May 3 with a Chanel show in Havana, Cuba, while Dior chose Blenheim Palace for its May 31 display. Gucci is heading to London for its cruise showing on June 2 at Westminster Abbey.