ART AND COMMERCE: Louis Vuitton didn’t have to wait for season for a Miami moment. Following the July opening of the brand’s temporary home at Aventura Mall — the permanent store bows late 2012 — Valerie Chapoulaud-Floquet, president and chief executive officer of Louis Vuitton North America, hosted its first Art Talk in the city.
“It was natural to bring the series here given Miami’s connection with contemporary art,” she said, before Brazilian artist Vik Muniz, whose Louis Vuitton logo-inspired video, and wood and canvas sculpture are exhibited at the Aventura store, and Gringo Cardia, creative director for Spectaculu, a Rio-based nonprofit that trains underprivileged children for careers in entertainment production, took the stage.
“I always make sure that these kids benefit from commercial commissions,” said Muniz, who also enlisted 20 students to photograph scenes based on his signature elements of found objects, graffiti and food for the project, with a relative twist in using materials like buttons, hardware and leather scraps from the fashion house too. “I’d ask them who wants to work with garbage today and who wants to work with Vuitton? You can guess which won every time.”
Chapoulaud-Floquet said more than art was driving traffic to the new store. She attributed a loyal clientele and a new, curious audience to increased sales of more sophisticated product than the former Bal Harbour Shops location.
“It also has a lot to do with having more space, which is the ultimate luxury,” she said.