Move over, Cartier. Louis Vuitton opened its haute joaillerie boutique on the Place Vendôme in Paris this summer, a celebrity-studded affair that lured the likes of Catherine Deneuve, Sofia Coppola, and Kirsten Dunst. The plaza has long been recognized as some of the finest real estate in Paris, home to The Ritz (now closed for a two-year renovation), Boucheron, Van Cleef & Arpels, Dior, and Chanel. Needless to say, openings on the Place Vendôme are exceedingly rare, and Louis Vuitton snagged No. 23. Hamdi Chatti, VP of Fine Jewelry and Watches, is quoted in the Wall Street Journal Magazine: “If you miss [a coveted spot on the Place Vendôme], you have to wait 10 years, so we decided to go for it.”
This is Louis Vuitton’s first retail space devoted to high-end jewelry, and it’s a looker. Architect Peter Marino designed the interiors; a glittering sculpture by artist Teresita Fernandez dangles from the ceiling. On display: the third collection by artistic director Lorenz Bäumer- inspired by Parisian architectural landmarks. There is a workshop upstairs, where Bäumer accepts commissions (choose your own stones with a gemologist then get Bäumer’s expert counsel on the design).
Other high fashion brands—like Dolce & Gabbana—are following suit into the fine jewelry sector- what the Wall Street Journal identities as a “growing trend.”