“The refined and wealthy clientele of world renowned Louis Vuitton were, on this occasion, able to appreciate not only its new trunk designs bags and wardrobes but also a comfortable reading room, a travel room and theatre tickets at their disposal…” noted a French newspaper in 1914 upon the inauguration of the new Louis Vuitton ‘Maison’ on the Champs Elysées in Paris.
Residing at number 101 avenue Champs Elysées, the Louis Vuitton flagship which today dominates the avenue’s major intersection with avenue George V, was inaugurated in 2005, 91 years after the first imprint of the house upon Paris’ prominent avenue. One of Louis Vuitton’s very first stores and the one to which the newspaper extract refers, was located just down the road at number 70 avenue Champs Elysées. Considered an audacious adventure in 1914 when it was constructed by Georges Vuitton, the son of Louis, this architectural paragon is today home to a luxury hotel.
Architecture was a family tradition for the Vuittons. In envisioning this edifice, the façade of which was at once in the art deco and art nouveau style, Georges Vuitton, placed the Malletier at the forefront of the architectural vicissitude arresting the Champs Elysées in the early twentieth century. Furthermore, in 1914, this Louis Vuitton boutique was considered the largest travel-goods store in the entire world.
Today the façade of the building is deemed a historic monument and it is still possible to read ‘Vuitton Building’ there. Although no longer in the possession of Louis Vuitton, the travel legacy is incontestably continued by a luxury hotel which today is situated upon the very same progressive imprint made by the Malletier in 1914.
Image via Louis Vuitton