8th November, 2013    Text  Thomas Davis   

You may recognise the surname of a certain Georges Vuitton. In 1885 the son of the famed malletier’s owner Louis Vuitton brought his family business to London’s Oxford Street. From the outset the company dared to provide a whimsically modern take on luxury retail within its stores.

Fast forward a hundred years or so to see the latest palace of packing – though today you can buy the clothes to go inside the suitcase too – the Louis Vuitton Townhouse. Located within Selfridges, this three floor retail space harks back to the brand’s stores on the Strand and Bond Street in the early 1900s.

The Townhouse follows a new architectural concept by the French-born and internationally acclaimed designer, Gwenaël Nicolas. Nicolas said of the project: “Louis Vuitton wanted to introduce within Selfridges a complete rediscovery of the brand. The helix design wrapped around the elevator penetrates the historical building of Selfridges, creating a constant dialogue between modernity and tradition.”

The ground floor showcases the new collections of leather goods, accessories and travel items, with a dedicated and interactive digital personalisation platform – a worldwide first for Louis Vuitton.

A unique rotating circular elevator effortlessly connects the upper floors, the first presenting men’s ready-to-wear, shoes and accessories from the Maison’s Kim Jones. On the second floor, the women’s ready-to-wear collections are housed.

As if you needed another excuse to visit, there’s the added appeal of unique art. Barnaby Barford’s work is comprised of thousands of painstakingly made porcelain flowers, leaves and butterflies, whereas Katsumi Hayakawa has installed three-dimensional wall pieces made from mirror and paper.

Louis Vuitton’s Townhouse, Selfridges, 400 Oxford St, London W1A 1AB