With the installation of the first Paris location of its Italian pastry, Cova, and the renovation of the La Samaritaine department store and Cheval Blanc hotel during the past 18 months, parent firm LVMH Mot Hennessy Louis Vuitton has completely changed the Pont Neuf district. In an interview with WWD, the chairman and CEO of the French luxury label disclosed plans to turn Louis Vuitton’s corporate headquarters into a huge complex that will house the brand’s first hotel and largest store ever. A change that will require him to give up his office, which has panoramic views of Paris’s Old City.
He also disclosed that efforts by Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of the biggest luxury company in the world, to draw more businesses, residences, restaurants, and cultural events to the region are just getting started. Michael Burke stated, “My dream was to build a recreation of the original Paris mall.” It was always Bernard’s idea, and we’ve come this far. To get it to where we believe it should be, it will take another 10 to 15 years. The ambitions are a reflection of the fashion and luxury brands’ rising push into hospitality as customers’ willingness to pay for experiences rises. The ambitions are a reflection of the fashion and luxury brands’ rising push into hospitality as customers’ willingness to pay for experiences rises. Our customers expect that from us. Burke remarked, “They want a relationship that is 24/7. The area won’t be accessible to the general public until Dec. 12. A year-long exhibition showcasing the brand’s artistic partnerships will be held in the 20,000 square foot building, along with a gift shop, café, and chocolate shop run by Cheval Blanc Paris’ head pastry chef Maxime Frédéric.
The shop is housed inside the Vuitton building in a former Conforama furniture store’s former commercial area. In reality, the structure housed La Belle Jardinière, a department store renowned for its reasonably priced goods, for almost a century. In the latter half of the 19th century, along with La Samaritaine, it made the region a shopping hotspot. The location of this event’s opening will likely be the largest Vuitton store, according to Burke. In the upcoming ten years, it will still remain a work in progress.”The exhibition space is only available for one year; after that, we’ll try something else. And later, most likely, of this 400,000 square foot structure will be something else» he continued. The CEO stated that LVMH had no concerns about the Cheval Blanc being replaced by a future Louis Vuitton hotel. He added that he expects to open the hotel “within five years” and described it as a project with its own character, section, and service: a completely distinct experience.”