Açai Celebration

Asnières – The heart of Louis Vuitton

On rue Louis Vuitton outside Paris, you will find Asnières – the family home of Louis Vuitton. From humble origins, young Louis Vuitton ventured to Paris on foot to become an apprentice layetier-emballeur, mastering the arts of packing and trunk-making. In 1854 he set up his own atelier and shop, and five years later established the workshop at Asnières, that grew to employ one hundred people by the turn of the twentieth century. Since Louis Vuitton first settled in Asnières, the house that carries his name has expanded to an incredible place, and I was so lucky that Louis Vuitton invited me for a visit. 

It was exciting to discover the roots of this legendary label, and the house is a magical place. We had coffee and croissants in the living room that has the most amazing Art Nouveau windows, so many beautiful colours and the rooms are filled with old trunks, beautiful furniture and pictures of the Vuitton family. The tranquil garden is charming and perfect for hosting a soirée. The family moved out in 1984, but Asnières still lives. The workshop still makes special orders, fulfilling even the most extravagant wishes. 

After we visited the new museum – La Galerie – a space devoted to the history of Louis Vuitton. You are equipped with a smartphone that lets you discover how the buildings used to look like and read fun facts throughout the exhibition. Spread over two floors are around 400 objects and documents from the house’s archive. They range from old trunks, the first Steamer Bag, created in 1901 to items from the Vuitton family’s personal collection, including letters, sketches, personal effects, historic items and artworks inspired by the house. On the second floor are designs from the label’s current and past creative directors – Nicolas Ghesquière, Kim Jones and Marc Jacobs, as well as vintage items from the likes of Jeanne Lanvin, Christian Dior and Madelleine Vionnet. The exhibition also showcases the house’s history of collaborating with artists including Yayoi Kusama, Stephen Sprouse and Daniel Buren. The exhibition is curated by Judith Clark, a professor of fashion and museology who has previously worked on shows about brands including Chloé and personalities as Frida Kahlo and Diana Vreeland. La Galerie has an intimate feel and the Louis Vuitton universe unfolds before your eyes as you enter. If you are in Paris you should spend an afternoon here and enjoy a journey through the world of Louis Vuitton. Visits are by appointment only

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