The first thing you see when you walk into Vancouver’s newly renovated Louis Vuitton boutique is a two-storey high wall of handbags. Lit panels show off a selection of the house’s best designs – signature canvas, shiny patent clutches, multi-coloured logo studded bags – a handbag lover’s dream. It’s an impressive first look at Canada’s only Maison store.
What makes the 10,000 square foot Maison different from Toronto’s equally impressive Louis Vuitton boutique on Bloor Street? Both carry the ready-to-wear collection designed by Marc Jacobs and have a top notch selection of handbags but only in Vancouver will you find the bag bar (the biggest in North America) and a private VIP shopping suite. Maybe Tom Cruise or Reese Witherspoon, both shooting (separately) in Vancouver, will stop by? The Maison floor plan also suggests different rooms – although LV prefers to call them “universes”, as in – “here is our men’s universe”.
Some of the store’s highlights are out of my universe. For example – the $100,000+ diamond necklace designed by Lorenz Baumer, and the $35,000 wardrobe, complete with drawers and hangers big enough to house a small child.
Each Maison – there are 11 worldwide – including Paris, New York, Tokyo and London – showcases a permanent work of art. Here, it’s Vancouver-based artist Steven Shearer’s “Ragpicker’s Rainbow”, a set of vibrantly hued serigraphs. It’s a nice touch that gives this massive international brand a Vancouver flavour.