Design + Architecture

The World's Coolest Stores

by Gigi Guerra

Louis Vuitton

Location: Paris

The big selling point: A colossal, motif-stamped temple of chic, with a quirky elevator that plays tricks on the senses.

What's in store: In the middle of Paris's posh fashion crossroads—the corner of Champs-élysées and Avenue George V—is the largest freestanding Louis Vuitton store in the world, and it more than lives up to the hype. Outsized details are the norm, such as the foyer's enormous cluster of thin metal rods that drape from the ceiling to create a dramatic rainlike effect, or the crystal-studded, cutout metal partitions that encircle each department, the pattern mimicking the petal motif stamped onto Vuitton's legendary monogram bags. In fact, this graphic floral pattern is repeated throughout the store, on inlaid wood details and scattered across window backdrops, as is the classic "Daimer" checkerboard motif. Works commissioned specially for the store by contemporary artists also play a key role: Dancing along the walls facing a long escalator are fiber-optic squiggles created by Tim White-Sobieski, and an express elevator to the top-floor Espace Vuitton art gallery was masterminded by subversive Danish talent Olafur Eliasson, who cloaked the carriage in black velvet to make it sound- and stimuli-proof.

Rub shopping shoulders with: Awestruck global tourists and hoarders of all things authentically monogrammed with the LV logo.

Treat yourself: Either of Vuitton's current big sellers: The totelike classic monogram-print Neverfull bag, $620, or the signature Speedy bag in the paler "Azur" version of the popular Daimer pattern, $580.

Louis Vuitton
101 Avenue des Champs-élysées
Tel: 33 1 5357 2400

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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