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17 Oct

LVMH Opens Doors, Returns With Record Crowds

PARIS — LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s doors opened to all once more.

After a four-year hiatus, the world’s largest luxury group’s heritage days returned worldwide from Oct. 14 to 16, adding latest houses and events along the best way. It’s the fifth edition of the Journées Particulières, which give a peek into its storied ateliers, allowing guests the prospect to interact with craftspeople in all things luxury, from Champagne to superb jewelry.

“It is kind of moving,” said Antoine Arnault, head of communication and image at LVMH, of the return to in-person events. He conceived of the times to showcase the homes’ inner workings over a decade ago and decided against holding a virtual event throughout the pandemic in anticipation of the day its ateliers could once more welcome visitors in person.

“Its all about sensory experience, and also you don’t really get that on a screen,” he said. This 12 months, a complete of 93 locations in 15 countries from across 57 of the corporate’s maisons were opened, some for the primary time, including Tiffany & Co.’s jewelry design and innovation workshop in Latest York City and Berluti’s bespoke tailoring workshop in Paris.

Tickets to go to those never-open-to-the-public places, together with visits to Dior and Louis Vuitton, were fully reserved in only three seconds. The remaining of the 200,000 spots available were gone inside six minutes. With the free reservation system full (“It’s certainly one of the rare times where we we don’t sell anything,” joked Arnault), guests lined up as early as 5 a.m. every day for an inside glimpse into the brands.

For Arnault, the recognition of the event is the payoff of a raffle he took a decade ago. “It was an actual challenge and bet after I had the thought and launched it,” he said. The primary event welcomed 100,000 guests — now the three-day event has doubled in size. “It’s a gratifying success that my intuition was right. Since then it’s not easier because we at LVMH wish to challenge ourselves and all the time attempt to do slightly bit higher, slightly bit more and have slightly little bit of a difficult objective.”

This 12 months’s event took six to eight months of planning, he said.

It’s a testament to the strength of the brands and their place in French — and global — culture. “We must do something right when it comes to expressing the values, expressing where they’re from and what they stand for,” he said.

Arnault’s dance card for the event’s calendar was full. He began midweek with a pre-launch reception to open the most recent Fendi atelier in Capannuccia, Tuscany, and visits to Berluti and Loro Piana ateliers in Italy.

The official launch took place on Oct. 13 at a splashy cocktail party on the conglomerate’s headquarters on Avenue Montaigne. Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive officer of LVMH, joined his son for a transient press conference, each wearing turtlenecks under their suits, which have develop into de rigeur as luxury brands turn down the thermostat amid a looming energy shortage in Europe.

The 2 men gamely skirted an issue about their favorite LVMH brand, and posed for a photograph with dozens of artisans from Chaumet, Berluti, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Broderies Vermont and Moynat, most of them wearing white lab coats.

Antoine and Bernard Arnault, center, with artisans from various LVMH houses.

Boby Allin

Then it was off to a marathon of events, including the Vuitton atelier in Asnières, a visit to the Champagne region to go to Moët & Chandon, Krug, and Veuve Clicquot, plus 25 other sites across Paris. “I don’t think I’m missing a single one,” Antoine Arnault said.

Considered one of the highlights of the Paris locations was Chaumet’s newly revamped hotel particulier on Place Vendôme. It was opened to the general public for the primary time since undergoing a revamp in 2020.

Guests were welcomed within the opulent Salon Chopin with pianist Ionah Maiatsky tickling the ivories, before house archivist Michael Lepage led the group through a grand dining room done up in Chaumet’s signature deep blue by architect Patricia Grosdemange. A “fantasy banquet” of sorts was set in grand Belle Époque style, including place settings for Edith Wharton, Gertrude Vanderbilt, Gustave Eiffel and Olga and Pablo Picasso — all of whom were clients of the home.

The Chaumet flagship’s Chopin salon.

Courtesy/Stephane Muratet

The grand display room was next, where the Radziwill tiara, famous for its seven diamond drops, and the Bourbon-Parma tiara were on display for the primary time. The tour took within the archives filled with leather-bound books and old correspondence, in addition to a magical shadow puppet show before being welcomed into the workshop by manager Benoit Verhulle. He walked guests through the creation process with various craftspeople.

Original tools of wood and iron stood within the sleek white atelier, a stark contrast to today’s scientific microscopes and computer screens, which ensure precise measurements. Craftspeople put every bit together like a puzzle, they usually demonstrated how they remake an object several times through paper, wax castings, and various metal versions before constructing the ultimate piece.

Necklaces take one 12 months to complete; tiaras, two. “The story of creation is an element of the worth,” said craftsman Didier Larue, as he explained the intricate steps for an extravagant headpiece for a non-public client. Other pieces were being prepped for the 2024 collections.

A gaggle of university students walked by, a part of LVMH’s outreach to young people in an effort to get them more curious about crafts because it faces a near constant shortage of expert staff. The heritage days function a calling card of sorts.

“For our business to proceed to grow, to achieve success in a way that it may well contribute to society, we want those younger generations to get curious about these metiers de les mains, these manual jobs, which might be super interesting and possibly not valorized enough,” said Arnault. “It’s not the primary objective, but when it may well be a collateral advantage, we’d love that.” He noted that some students who attended the primary edition in 2011 now work for LVMH, crafting shoes and leather goods in its workshops.

LVMH’s sales have continued to soar, despite global economic headwinds. The corporate reported double-digit growth across divisions in results last week. Arnault credited the corporate’s heritage for allowing it to maneuver forward.

“Our real strength is the incontrovertible fact that we now have a really long-term horizon. In fact, we now have to publish [financial results] every three months. Nonetheless, we don’t resolve our strategy in function of the subsequent three months, but over the subsequent three, five, 10, sometimes 30 years. It’s really something you can feel inside the businesses — there’s no short-term stress.” He framed it when it comes to U.S.-based Tiffany & Co., which LVMH bought in 2021.

“They were all the time a bit out of breath because they all the time had to clarify what they were going to do in the subsequent quarter, after which justify what they did within the previous quarter. That’s not how we function, it’s really not very healthy for a corporation that ought to have time ahead to implement strategies,” he said. “The benefit of a gaggle like ours is we now have long horizon and we now have the means to get these strategies implemented.”

Amid other LVMH brands collaborating within the event, Kenzo welcomed near 400 visitors to its Rue Vivienne headquarters. They were treated to a spacious, museum-caliber exhibition drawing links between the late founder, Kenzo Takada, and Nigo, the present artistic director, who has thrust the brand’s painterly florals, energetic checks, layering, hats and Asian-inspired silhouettes into the current day.

Guided tours offered a detailed take a look at rare archival designs, including a clutch of short, padded kimonos from a 1983 collection and a one-of-a-kind, couture-quality wedding dress from a 1982 show that the founder composed from a stash of antique ribbons.

A one-of-a-kind dress by Kenzo Takada, circa 1982.

Juan Jerez

Greater than 60 outfits were displayed alongside show invitations, contact sheets, vintage magazine covers, fabric samples and video footage of a 1972 show on the then-derelict Gare D’Orsay.

Visitors learned concerning the founder’s fondness for cotton and painted by hand prints, including a poppy motif that Nigo reprised and remixed for his debut collection for fall 2022.

Kenzo’s headquarters house a ready-to-wear atelier numbering 15 people, with one other 27 or so within the studio, who’re apprised of the newest vintage acquisitions as a way to glean inspiration from the prints and revolutionary cutting.

This 12 months, which marks Sephora’s second time participating in Les Journées Particulières, the prestige beauty retailer flung open the doors of its headquarters within the Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine.

Within the lobby there, visitors could explore an exhibition showcasing the corporate’s history and DNA, while a video playing overhead featured Sephora founder Dominique Mandonnaud.

Down a level, attendees could participate in certainly one of three half-hour masterclasses, created by Sephora University, which were centered on either makeup, skin and hair care or fragrance. A highlight was shone on Sephora’s private-label collection and the retailer’s cherrypicked choice of “Good For” products. These are available 4 categories: “good for recycling,” “a greater planet,” “vegan” and “you.”

Sephora also showcased products slated for the end-of-year holiday period.

On iPads, it was possible virtually to personalize certainly one of the brand’s 4 iconic products with various designs. The finished creations were then projected onto a giant, rectangular screen. Sephora’s creative director will select the three most imaginative ideas, and every will win a prize.

Concurrently, Sephora organized happenings in a few of its flagships in Paris, within the Champs-Élysées, Opéra and Saint-Michel neighborhoods. Others took place in Milan’s Corso Vittorio Emmanuele; Barcelona’s El Triangle; Latest York’s Fifth Avenue, and in Asia, Nanjing Road in Shanghai and Singapore’s Raffles City.

Each activation was designed for attendees to study Sephora’s background and have beauty advisers answer questions via guided tours and masterclasses.

Antoine and Bernard Arnault watching trunk makers at work at Louis Vuitton.

Boby Allin

It was the primary time Tiffany’ s jewelry workshop in Latest York City was open to the general public as a part of the LVMH initiative. Housed in an office tower on West twenty third Street, it has a company aesthetic that Robert Downey Jr.’s “Iron Man” character would appreciate: modernist interiors; multiple monitors to magnify the work underway, and sleek stainless-steel machinery for molding, prototyping and other specific tasks. Visitors began their tours in a holding area, where the brand’s Knot and Lock jewelry was displayed.

Dana Naberezny, vice chairman and chief Innovation officer of the jewellery design and innovation workshop, or JDIW, noted it was created in 2018 and consists of a team of engineers, CAD designers, master craftspeople and quality skilled. Prototyping and performance are the main focus for JDIW staff, whose objective is to show designs right into a reality with one of the best mechanisms. Once achieved, manufacturers make them for the stores.

About 650 people secured time slots online to go to the workshop. Considering that a part of Tiffany’s appeal has all the time been its mystique, there must surely have been debate about how much to point out throughout the public tours or whether to participate. Naberezny offered, “You’re seeing existing products whenever you walk through here. I actually have a joke, ‘What happens within the JDIW, stays within the JDIW.’ We wish to maintain surprising customers so we’re not showing the most recent of the brand new. But we’re giving them that take a look at what we do and the way we work. It’s a mix, right? It’s [a matter of] how will we make it really special for people to actually understand Tiffany while also saving some surprises for later within the 12 months.”

Inside Tiffany & Co's jewelry and design and innovation workshop, which houses its own sample development room.

Inside Tiffany & Co.’s jewelry and design and innovation workshop, which houses its own sample development room.


Passing through an engineering lab, a two-armed robot was testing the closure of a T1 bangle — a test that is finished hundreds and hundreds of times to make sure it may well withstand the traditional wear-and-tear of a customer in order that it may well be passed on from one generation to the subsequent.

As a reminder of the corporate’s heritage, which dates back to 1837, a wall within the foremost work space features Pop Art-ish lighting of a signature Tiffany box, an “&” and other emblems of the brand’s DNA. Next was the intriguing 3D Printing Lab, which stays just a few degrees cooler than other areas to take care of the consistency of the wax that’s used for prototypes of Knot bracelets and rings, and other articulated items for wear-testing and other functions.

Visitors were aware about the custom embellished sunglasses that Tiffany partnered on with Pharrell Williams earlier this 12 months and the hefty necklace that Beyoncé Knowles sported in the newest ad campaign. Other tour attractions were the bejeweled pendants which might be a part of the NFTiffs.

Nearing the top of the tour, just a few rows of individuals were immersed of their craftsmanship, whether that was molding a wax figure of Louis Comfort Tiffany or setting diamonds in certainly one of Tiffany’s Schlumberger Sixteen Stone Ring.

“It’s a distinct type of curiosity. It’s possibly less business,” added Arnault, of the guests who visit the ateliers to see slightly little bit of magic being made. “In fact, I preach for my firms, but I’m an advocate of continuous to dream.”

— With contributions from Miles Socha and Jennifer Weil in Paris, and Rosemary Feitelberg in Latest York.

Crowds waiting to enter Chaumet’s workshops.

Carolina Arantes

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