Louis Vuitton opened its first Maison in Germany on April 25th, establishing a new milestone home in one of the most historic sites in Munich, the Residenzpost.
The new Maison brings together the Louis Vuitton values of the art of travel, savoir-faire and creativity and invites its guests to make their own personal discoveries as they tour the store.
The three-storey Maison, designed by world-renowned architect, Peter Marino, houses Louis Vuitton’s leather goods, accessories, Men’s and Women’s ready-to-wear, watches and jewellery. It also offers the Haute Maroquinerie service, which allows clients to create their own interpretations of iconic Louis Vuitton bags. The newly created “ecriture” writing instruments and materials collection, as well as made-to-order Men’s shoes and belts, will also be featured for the first time in Germany.
The experience will be completed with the introduction of a cultural dimension that is a feature of the Louis Vuitton Maisons across the world, the Espace Louis Vuitton München. This versatile space will house artistic collections and exhibitions and is scheduled to open its doors at the end of 2013.
“Munich marked the beginning of Louis Vuitton’s German voyage more than 35 years ago”, says Michael Burke, Chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton. “This opening demonstrates our confidence and optimism in our continuing future in Germany and highlights our common history and shared values with a historic and creative city. We are proud to open our first German Maison here and in the Residenzpost in particular.“
Innovation, heritage and emotion are values that Louis Vuitton shares with the Residenzpost and which are embodied perfectly by the Louis Vuitton München Residenzpost Maison.
In 1838, sixteen years before the creation of Louis Vuitton in Paris, the Residenzpost saw the opening of one of the first post offices in Germany. It was designed by a gifted architect of the age, Leo von Klenze, and commissioned by visionary King Ludwig I of Bavaria, who was determined that Munich would become the most elegant city in Germany. Eleven years later, the first German postage stamp, “der Schwarze einser”, was sold there and soon afterwards the first telephone switchboard was housed in the building.
ARCHITECTURE – Ground Floor
Visitors enter the Louis Vuitton Maison München Residenzpost via a bridge that has spectacular views over the ground floor, home to the house’s iconic leather goods, accessories, watches and jewellery, as well as the travel universe.
Visitors then discover the main staircase, specially designed in wood with a gradual spectrum of shades, starting from lower ground floor with a dark wood to the first floor with a light colour wood. The Art of Writing, or “ecriture”, appears for the first time in Germany, adjacent to the entrance of the Espace Louis Vuitton München.
Lower Ground Floor
Correlating with the design of the main staircase, the Men’s section situated on the Lower Ground Floor welcomes the visitors in a masculine ambiance and presents the complete Louis Vuitton ready-to-wear collection. Alongside this area, a large selection of bags, small leather articles and accessories are displayed. The Men’s shoe section will be found here and will include, for the first time in Germany, a made-to-order service for shoes and belts.
The customers’ visit continues up the staircase towards the softer coloured universe of the women’s ready-to-wear and shoes collections. Here they will also find an intimate salon offering Haute Maroquinerie, an exclu- sive personalisation service for leather goods. Clients can select from the finest and most valued materials to create their own bag design, choosing from five iconic shapes, a large variety of colours and a range of fine leathers.
ART OF WRITING
Gaston-Louis Vuitton, grandson of Louis Vuitton, was as passionate about reading and writing as his father
and grandfather, and was an insatiable bibliophile and collector. his taste for typography even led him to found and preside over two publishing houses.
The new collection dedicated to the Art of Writing pays tribute to this heritage and offers a complete range from writing instruments to exclusive inks, stationery, leather goods, personalization and special orders.
This tradition is also recalled by the historical gem in the Maison’s ecriture section. where Germany’s first postage stamp issued in 1849, the “Schwarze einser”, is on permanent display. The important piece of German history will be housed in the ecriture section as a symbol, to remind us of the emotions that have been set down on paper across the ages.
To pay tribute to the building’s iconic history, Louis Vuitton is issuing, for the opening, a limited edition of stamps and invites its guests to join the journey of words.
Interview with Peter Marino
“I like the changing nature of my creations. But what I am most proud of is when a store I have designed lasts a generation without ever going out of style.”
– Peter Marino
What makes the Munich Maison unique?
We developed a new metal mesh especially for this Maison, building on the iconic Louis Vuitton floral mesh, but presented in a lighter, more delicate manner. This new pale gold mesh runs along the store’s façade and along the staircase wall leading from the ground floor up to the first floor women’s area.
What are your favorite elements within the Munich Maison?
I love the main staircase, which extends through the store’s three floors, appearing as a rainbow of wood colours. Beginning with a dark wood in the basement Men’s area, it then becomes a medium shade of wood at the ground floor entrance and culminates in a light wood on the first floor women’s area.
How is the Maison laid out?
It extends over three storeys. There is an iconic staircase stretching along the store’s frontage, much like the London New Bond Street Maison. The ground floor houses leathergoods, jewellery, accessories and luggage; the basement level is home to the Men’s collections, while the first floor is dedicated to the women’s collections.
In your opinion, is a store made to last, in the same way a monument is, or is it rather a short-lived creation, following fashion and therefore unlikely to remain unchanged?
I am more for the short-lived option. However, I also like it that stores last a generation. I don’t like trendy places, subject to the diktats of fashion. Once the effect of surprise has worn off, two or three years later they look dated. It is very unpleasant when something is so old-fashioned that at a glance it can be seen as belonging to a specific era. On the other hand, nor do I like the idea of a concrete creation, built to last forever. I like the changing nature of my creations. But what I am most proud of is when a store I have designed lasts a generation without ever going out of style.
Louis Vuitton Munich Residenzpost Maison
Tel.: +49 89 558 938 000
Mondays to Fridays – 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Saturdays – 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Sundays – Closed
Images via Louis Vuitton