THE A TEAM
NEW YORK — At the outset of a question-and-answer session at the new LVMH Tower here Tuesday, Bernard Arnault made an announcement: He was losing his voice.
It turned out to be a handy excuse. After being lobbed several soft questions about the building, a reporter asked if there might be room in the new 23-story tower for Calvin Klein Inc., which is up for sale.
“My voice is becoming weaker,” Arnault responded, to a round of laughter. “I think it’s a wonderful brand, but we have not looked at it enough in detail at this time. I can’t say anything else.”
Actually, he eked out a few more words of praise for architect Christian de Portzamparc before stealing off for a series of meetings.
The press conference and luncheon was held in the so-called “magic room,” a cavernous, futuristic-looking space on the top of the tower on East 57th Street.
In a rare photo opportunity there, Arnault posed with his posse of British and American designers: Christian Dior’s John Galliano, Givenchy’s Alexander McQueen, Louis Vuitton’s Marc Jacobs and Celine’s Michael Kors.
But no questions, please. The quartet was whisked away in a private elevator before the press conference began.
At the press conference, Arnault made it clear that fashion is their turf, not his.
“I am happy to have had an influence on the building, since I don’t have any influence on the dresses,” he said.