Vuitton opens LV Dream and reveals plans for hotel, amid Bernard Arnault splurge in Paris real estate
Louis Vuitton unveiled LV Dream its latest art installation in Paris on Tuesday evening, located in a building it eventually plans to turn into a hotel, amid a real estate spree by patron Bernard Arnault.
The news of the Vuitton inn emerged in the midst of a recent property splurge spree which has seen Bernard Arnault acquire three buildings in Paris at the total cost of some 900 million euros.
The French luxury multi-billionaire apparently acquired the properties from the estate of Claude Dray, who passed away in mysterious circumstances in 2011, according to French business weekly Challenges.
Bernard’s new addresses are certainly prestigious. Starting with 22 avenue Montaigne, which just happens to be the headquarters of the luxury group, and location of Arnault’s main office. This 18,700 square-meter building (16,000 square meters of offices and 2,700 square meters of shops hosting a Louis Vuitton boutique) was 60% owned by the Dray family and already 40% owned by LVMH.
The second building is located at 7 rue de la Paix, between the column of Place Vendôme and the Opera. It offers 3,100 square meters of offices rented to several tenants and 500 square meters of shops occupied by the watchmaker Piaget. Finally, the third building is located at 12 place des Etats-Unis in the 16th arrondissement and offers 5,600 square meters of offices rented to the avant garde fashion house Martin Margiela.
Which, ironically, makes Arnault the landlord of Margiela’s creative director John Galliano, the man he once fired as designer of Christian Dior a decade ago.
Vuitton’s real estate plans in the French capital will focus on turning the brand’s corporate headquarters into a complex that will include a debut Louis Vuitton hotel and its largest store worldwide.
Vuitton’s parent LVMH has already radically overhauled the once funky 1st arrondissement neighborhood located close to the less than salubrious shopping mall Les Halles. Eighteen months ago, LVMH unveiled the radically revamped La Samaritaine super store and Cheval Blanc hotel, which became instantly fashionable.
Vuitton, however, remains vague about when it will open its debut hotel, which will be parallel to Cheval Blanc on the right bank of the Seine overlooking Pont Neuf. There is plenty of room to grow, seeing as the Vuitton headquarters is in a building with a whopping 36,000 square meters.
The 2,000-square-meter LV Dream exhibition, which opened with a patisserie pop-up run by Maxime Frédéric, the head pastry chef at Cheval Blanc Paris, instantly closed. Though it will reopen on December 12 for one year, with a gift shop, and a show space highlighting the brand’s collaborations with artists.
A total of nine rooms in LV Dream features designs by the likes of Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince and Yayoi Kusama, in addition to previously unseen portraits of founder Louis Vuitton by Alex Katz. Vuitton is predicting over 2,000 visitors a day to LV Dream, where entry is free.
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