When I flew to Toyko a few weeks ago from Heathrow’s T5 – the home of British Airways – the decorative façade of the impending Louis Vuitton store was still in place. Yet today saw the opening of this dedication to the art and luxury of travel with a very suave launch. This is the first European airport store, which makes a strong statement for both Vuitton and T5 as a whole.
On the entire perimeter of the façade are a sequence of hanging transparent units hung by Louis Vuitton belts, recalling the artisan heritage of the Maison, and allowing visibility straight into the store. Inside, a clean, open space makes the store’s offering of leather goods, women’s ready to wear and shoes, accessories, sunglasses, fine jewellery and watches easy to navigate. However, it is when you look up that you will notice that 80% of ceiling surface crafted from suspended aluminium blades ranging from a gold oak brushed veneer to others clad in hand crafted bronze and gold wallpaper.
Always faithful to its heritage and commitment to fine craftsmanship, Louis Vuitton is renowned for its enduring relationships with artists and designers, with them supporting an installation by Ange Leccia, the contemporary French painter, photographer and filmmaker who will have her commissioned short film, Giraglia, presented on a digital screen set within the impressive 6m façade of the store. The film follows a natural pattern where the Mediterranean Sea takes hold with a hypnotic maritime rhythm, an aquatic landscape of swaying of comings and goings – with the idea of a voyage, travelling across oceans to adventures new. I can’t wait to take a look next time I set sail, so to speak, on my next adventure – even if it only for work.