LOUIS VUITTON - Maison Venezia: a long-standing relationship

“ Going to Venice is like stepping
into your own dreams. ”

Louis Vuitton Opens a Maison near the center of  Venice, Piazza San Marco. Located in the heart of the city, the new Maison will house a wide range of leather goods, ready to wear and travel pieces. A cultural space – The Espace Louis Vuitton Venice will be the sixth in the world and the first in Italy. The featured hanging display entitled SHOE-TING showcasing the shoe collection for Fall Winter 2013 also catches our eye. (Selectism)

LOUIS VUITTON - Maison Venezia

Last April 21st, 2013, next door to Piazza San Marco, the Maison Louis Vuitton Venezia opened its doors to the public. Situated in the heart of the city, the Maison will also feature a cultural space, Espace Louis Vuitton Venezia, the first in Italy and only the sixth of its type in the world. “ Venice has always been special to the House ” says Michael Burke, President of Louis Vuitton. “ A city on a lagoon at the crossroads of East and West, it symbolizes travel and an openness to new horizons. It is also a city of art and design, which has always known how to bring together beauty, elegance and art de vivre. With this Maison, we wanted to pay homage to Venetians and lovers of the city by offering them our most beautiful designs, as well as a space for art and culture wholly dedicated to them. ”
Mail Trunk – 1885, striped canvas, Louis Vuitton Collection
Was Georges Vuitton inspired by the quatrefoils on the façade of the Palazzo Ducale when he designed the Monogram pattern? the question is still asked in the house. One thing is sure: Venice – the city of aesthetes and artists – has always inspired Louis Vuitton, which has maintained close links to the city and its arts since its foundation. Indeed, some of the house’s most faithful clients were also lovers of the Serenissima, such as Peggy Guggenheim, whose art collection is still on show in the city. Also carlos de Beistegui, who hosted his legendary “Ballo de Secolo” – the ‘party of the century’ – under tiepolo’s frescos in the Palazzo Labia in 1951 and whose Mail trunk – after a remarkable world tour, as demonstrated by the great number of hotel labels on it – is now being exhibited in the Maison.

Map of the city of Venice, E.Rouargue – c. 1854, Museo Correr
the Veneto, the fascinating region around Venice, has been a cradle of unequalled savoir-faire in the art of leather and shoes since the 13th century, with the banks of the nearby River Brenta providing a home to the best artisan shoemakers. And it was these very same artisans who created Louis Vuitton’s first shoe collections. In 2001, Louis Vuitton, which has a deep respect for savoir-faire wherever it is found, opened the Manufacture de Souliers in Fiesso d’Artico, where it creates its shoe collections today. At the same time, the house strengthened its relationship with the city by contributing to the
restoration of the Venice Pavilion in the Biennale Gardens, which host the Biennale of Art and Architecture. the Louis Vuitton classic Serenissima Run wove through Veneto, arriving on Venice’s San Giorgio’s Island and a Louis Vuitton city Guide to Venice was published. the opening of the Maison Louis Vuitton Venezia, located in what was once the cinema teatro San Marco, marks a new stage in this privileged relationship, one which encompasses architecture, savoir-faire and culture.

Project of Cinema Teatro San Marco, Gilberto Errera – c. 1936
Historical Site
Venice has always been a city dedicated to the arts, so it was no surprise that it quickly and fully embraced the seventh art, cinema. In 1932, the Serenissima invented the Mostra, the world’s oldest film festival and its top prize, the Golden Lion, the symbol of the city’s patron saint, San Marco. Frank capra’s Forbidden and the first, inimitable Frankenstein, directed by James Whale, were shown at the cinema on Venice’s Lido island, in the presence of Greta Garbo, clark Gable and Vittorio De Sica. A few years later, count Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata, the founder of the Mostra and president of the Biennale di Venezia, realised his ambition to bring the festival to the heart of the city, housed in a huge cinema that was open to all. the architectural project was completed in 1936 and the Mostra found its place in the city, on the site of teatro San Marco, one of city’s oldest cinemas which had been built in 1908.
1. Façade of Cinema Teatro San Marco – c. 1940 2. The lion of San Marco by Napoleone Martinuzzi – c. 1940 3. Interior of Cinema Teatro San Marco – c. 1940

Next, the story of Louis Vuitton shoemaking in Fiesso d’Artico.