Art & Culture

The art of retail

LVMH has always nurtured a passionate relationship with the world of art, a source of inspiration for exceptional products that are the fruit of masterful craftsmanship and rare skills.

An artful experience for customers

Beyond their patronage initiatives, LVMH and its Maisons have since the early 2000s actively promoted a unique blend of art and architecture that transforms the customer experience and shares this passion for beautiful objects with the largest possible number of people.

Artworks at flagships, stores and other public spaces add an extra dimension, fitting naturally thanks to carefully curated affinities, a perfect echo to uncompromising creativity. The art in our retail spaces sparks emotion while instantly transmitting the values of the Maison.

© Gabriel de la Chapelle
© DR Guerlain

Art de vivre and art

A monumental sculpture, a copper arc rises from the lagoon with metallic arms that reflect the rays of the sun. At the Cheval Blanc Rhandeli hotel in the Maldives, artist Vincent Beaurin plays with water and light in both the rooms and the landscape. Cheval Blanc, the hospitality brand of LVMH, transforms a journey into multifaceted invitations. Its unforgettable Maisons and horizons offer escapades where guests discover a unique collection of contemporary artworks. As captivating expressions of unique experiences, these singular creations are inseparable from an exceptional art de vivre.

At Cheval Blanc Courchevel, Bruno Peinado’s mirrored Trojan Horse, Xavier Veilhan’s bear, seemingly sculpted from snow, or the immense pearl necklace by Jean-Michel Othoniel all open fresh poetic perspectives for guests. The soon to reopen Cheval Blanc Saint Barth Isle de France will unveil the Constellation of Pegasus, a giant mobile by Jean-Michel Othoniel set in the heart of a tropical paradise conceived by garden designer Madison Cox.

LVMH welcomes creativity to the center of its different universes not simply to kindle sensations, but also to explore meaning. There is an osmosis between excellence and innovative expressiveness. When Hennessy invited the art collective Marshmallow Laser Feast to create an installation for its “Founder’s Cellar” in Cognac – where its most precious eaux-de-vie are carefully stored – the idea was to pay tribute to the sublime, inspired skill and almost spiritual dedication of the master blender. Entitled “The Quest”, an amazing galaxy of almost immaterial crystals is intersected by light and enriched by sound, a celebration of the pinnacle of excellence that can be reached when prodigious nature and virtuoso artisans meet…

«The art in our retail spaces sparks emotion while instantly transmitting the values of the Maison.»

© DR Le Bon Marché

“Los Angeles Rive Gauche”: Le Bon Marché on California time!

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Shopping as artistic journey

As the virtual world continues to permeate daily lives, the desire – indeed the need – to reconnect with simple pleasures becomes stronger than ever. Pleasures such as wandering through a store, being surprised, or discovering some inner enrichment.  The stores of LVMH Maisons seek to elevate reality, to connect with true emotions and encourage time for contemplation.

Guerlain stores, for instance, have always been designed as truly unique showcases thanks to the artists and artisans who craft them. In the 1930s, Jean-Michel Frank, Christian Bérard and Alberto Giacometti all applied their talents to create décors for the Guerlain boutique on Place Vendôme, as well as for the newly opened Institut des Champs-Élysées. Guerlain boutiques continue to cultivate their strong ties with art today. The Passy boutique, which recently reopened at 93, rue de Passy, welcomes “L’Abeille” (The Bee) by Brazilian photographer Vik Muniz, was well as an exquisitely soft and refined interpretation of the orchid by Caroline Perrin and a series entitled “Ashkal” by Lebanese designer Richard Yasmine.

© DR Guerlain

Support for talented artists and artisans is also an integral part of the Guerlain identity. For the past 12 years, the Maison’s most emblematic store at 68, Champs-Elysées has taken part in the “private itinerary” tour during the FIAC international art fair. For the 2018 edition, an exhibition with the unambiguous title “Future Anterior” has been conceived by curator Caroline Mensensee, proposing a novel perspective in resonance with Guerlain’s 190th anniversary. This anniversary is being celebrated throughout the year, including a tribute to photography, which was invented the same era Guerlain was founded. Over the summer, the Guerlain boutique featured a series of photos commissioned from eight photographers, each illustrating a period in the history of the Maison alongside the corresponding state of the art in photographic techniques. In addition to sharing singular perspectives of the Maison, events such as these are a tremendous springboard that boosts recognition for both emerging and established artists by giving them exposure to a broad public.

© Gabriel de la Chapelle

Distinctive exhibition spaces at stores sometimes really push boundaries, as at Le Bon Marché, now well-known for its regular art events. In winter 2017 the celebrated department store gave carte blanche to Argentine artist Leandro Erlich, who revisited the architecture with trompe-l’œil illusions, creating an itinerary like a waking dream as visitors meander through the store. This masterful immersion echoes installations in previous years by Ai Weiwei and Chiharu Shiota.

© DR Louis Vuitton
© DR Hôtel Cheval Blanc

The store as cultural destination

When the store environment and products transcend reality, shopping becomes an ideal chance to discover new worlds.

Le Bon Marché began acquiring its collection of contemporary art 30 years ago and displays the works on every floor of the store. Paintings, sculptures, drawings and photos have all been selected for their intrinsic beauty, evocative force and the questions and emotions they inspire. Unexplored territories await visitors at every turn…

The Bulgari “New Curiosity Shop” is a cultural attraction in itself. A future-facing version of its forerunner at Bulgari’s historic Via Condotti store, inaugurated in 1905, the new space created by architect Peter Marino celebrates the art of wonder. The shop brings together a playful array of opposites, antique pieces and new models against the backdrop of morphing and sometimes extravagant decors. On display through fall 2018, wax sculptures by Chilean artist David Aaron Angeli are like sinuous, mysterious shadows, resonating with the snake theme that has long inspired iconic Bulgari creations.

© DR Le Bon Marché

«With creative audacity, LVMH and its Maisons continually renew the art of retail while at the same time renewing the scope for artistic expression.»

Perpetuating history without slipping into nostalgia is about establishing bridges between the past and the future, creating something new by exploring styles and eras. This is an integral part of Louis Vuitton’s DNA, and one reason the Maison has always forged close collaborations with artists. One particularly striking recent example is the line of bags signed Jeff Koons, always delighted to blur the lines between art, craftsmanship, history and modernity, raising questions with a touch of sly humor. This added value inspired by tradition is also expressed in the new Maison Louis Vuitton Vendôme on Place Vendôme. The recently inaugurated Maison brings together two 18th century private mansions, located just a stone’s throw from the very first store opened by the trunkmaker Louis Vuitton himself in 1854. Among the legendary models and contemporary collections now on display are creations signed by Stephen Sprouse, Rashid Rana, Farhad Moshiri, Annie Morris, Kimiko Fujimura and others.

With creative audacity, LVMH and its Maisons continually renew the art of retail while at the same time renewing the scope for artistic expression. they are committed to eliminating barriers, pushing limits and encouraging an ongoing dialogue between artists and the public to offer everyone and especially each individual a chance to experience the impact of powerful emotions wherever they might be, and whenever they encounter compelling art.