The others open "flagship stores". To stand out, Louis Vuitton make him the bet of "Houses". As in Seoul at the end of October, the most famous brand of LVMH (also owner of "Echoes") now inaugurates shops that are more than just a flagship store. The firm with the monogram has indeed decided to bring together under one roof the full scope of its offer (leather goods,
, furniture …), as well as a space devoted to cultural exhibitions – a concept already used in four other cities (Tokyo, Venice, Munich and Beijing).
Frank Gehry in pen
It can rely on both the image, the skills and the fund of
the Louis Vuitton Foundation opened in Paris in 2014
and who is developing an off-the-walls program. In Seoul, the top floor hosts for three months works by Alberto Giacometti. Accessible through the shop or directly via an elevator, this space allows this brand to differentiate itself.
To assert the filiation with the Parisian foundation, it is the same architect, Frank Gehry, who redesigned the facade of an existing store, but completely redone, Gangnam, the luxury district of the Korean capital. "In Paris, to be able to build a bigger building, I had to imagine a glass building. And since we also needed walls to hang works, I drew a structure under the glass layer. Here in Seoul, we did the same thing "says the famous American-Canadian architect, who has covered a building designed and designed by Peter Marino and brings light through a second translucent skin.
A dozen Houses
"In the long run, we could have a dozen 'Houses'", says Michael Burke, the CEO of Louis Vuitton, which has in sight the world's major capitals. Each "House" is architecturally different, the exhibitions are not intended to move from one place to another. It's hard to imagine the same offer for Beijing's 880 square meters, the two levels of Munich, the space without a wall in Tokyo and the 80 square meters of Seoul. "Here is a baby from the Foundation. But it may not be an only child "remarks the Franco-American boss who, from the terrace of the building, can see the future shop of Rimowa or that of Dior, other marks property of the group chaired by Bernard Arnault.
A strategic Korea
If Seoul had the honors of this "House", it is because the Koreans represent the fourth clientele of this branch of LVMH behind the Chinese, the Americans and the Japanese. "Korea is also an Asian country whose culture transcends borders"says Michael Burke. Boy bands or soap opera made in Seoul are followed throughout Asia and it is important for luxury brands to develop in this market that helps to draw trends.
Louis Vuitton has 32 stores in Korea, including 14 in Seoul alone. Sign of the importance of Asia for the world's number one luxury,
in the last quarter, its sales in the region
(excluding Japan) accounted for 31% of its total business and posted a 16% increase over the first nine months of the year. Analysts believe that the Vuitton brand achieves a little less than 30% of its revenue in this region of the world.