French brand Louis Vuitton is continuing its international love affair with Los Angeles. But how does a luxury label follow its spring release of a trio of California-inspired unisex fragrances, with their vivid individual packaging and embellished leather monogram travel case designed by L.A. artist Alex Israel?
And the recent debut of a colorful travel book about L.A. by Spanish artist Javier Mariscal that would make the most jaded Angeleno feel magic for the city again?
The answer: It plans a major moment for SoCal, the brand’s second biggest market in the U.S. behind New York. And you’re invited.
“Louis Vuitton X” opens to the public on June 28. It’s an immersive, Instagram-ready exhibition exploring the luxury brand’s 160 year history of bringing goods and style collaborations to the world’s most exclusive clientele.
The exhibition, billed as the brand’s biggest global event of the year, will take over a Beverly Hills building previously occupied by Brooks Brothers at 468 N. Rodeo Drive. That building, which has a 12,171-square-foot ground floor and a 10,080-square-foot mezzanine level, sold for $245 million in September. According to real-estate data provider CoStar, the building’s owner is LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
A star-studded Louis Vuitton party is scheduled for June 27, and the free exhibition will run from late June to mid-September.
According to press materials, “Louis Vuitton X” will also mark the debut of the fashion house’s ArtyCapucines collection. The Capucines bag — named after the Paris street where Louis Vuitton himself opened his first store — was re-envisioned by six contemporary artists: Israel and fellow L.A. artists Sam Falls and Jonas Wood; Swiss-born Urs Fischer; Nicholas Hlobo (from South Africa); and Tschabalala Self (from New Haven, Conn.). Each artist-designed bag will retail for $8,600.
There will be a Colette-curated pop-up store on-site with Louis Vuitton merchandise, including the ArtyCapucines collection.
The exhibition itself will take up nine rooms over two floors of the Rodeo Drive building and it will be a showcase for more than 180 items from Louis Vuitton’s archive. Plans call for it to include digital elements, and each room will be dedicated to a theme such as Louis Vuitton on the red carpet, the new ArtyCapucines collection and Louis Vuitton’s signature monogram.
Work by the brand’s current women’s artistic director, Nicolas Ghesquière, will be represented in the exhibition.
Throughout “Louis Vuitton X,” visitors will be able to see Louis Vuitton items including Art Deco perfume bottles; early 20th century special-order trunks and other heritage pieces; and monogram bags that were reworked by notable names such as artist Cindy Sherman, architect Frank Gehry, the late designer Karl Lagerfeld and designer Rei Kawakubo.
According to press materials, window displays that will be featured were designed and commissioned by Gaston-Louis Vuitton, Vuitton’s grandson. And visitors will also get a chance to see original collaborations and other pieces, which have not previously been on display, by the late architect Zaha Hadid, artist Yayoi Kusama, painter and photographer Richard Prince and others.
Particularly in the last few years, Louis Vuitton, part of LVMH, which reported in April that it had another quarter of strong revenue growth, has focused on the L.A. market.
Last year, Louis Vuitton, which was founded in 1854, brought its “Time Capsule” exhibition to the U.S. for the first time. That exhibition, staged at Westfield Century City shopping center in Los Angeles, explored the fashion house’s contribution to travel and fashion.
Also in 2018, the brand expanded its South Coast Plaza store in Costa Mesa. The 14,000-square-foot store with 8,000 square feet of retail space was redesigned by architect Peter Marino, and it includes a second-floor atelier. About the store, Michael Burke, Louis Vuitton’s chairman and chief executive, told The Times last year, “It’s a very special place in the world.”
“Louis Vuitton X” exhibition
Where: 468 N. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills
Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday