Art & Culture
The art of retail
LVMH has always nurtured a passionate relationship with the world of art, a source of inspiration for exceptional products that are the fruit of masterful craftsmanship and rare skills.
An artful experience for customers
LVMH has always nurtured a passionate relationship with the world of art, a source of inspiration for exceptional products that are the fruit of masterful craftsmanship and rare skills. Beyond their patronage initiatives, LVMH and its Maisons have since the early 2000s actively promoted a unique blend of art and architecture that transforms the customer experience and shares this passion for beautiful objects with the largest possible number of people.
Artworks at flagships, stores and other public spaces add an extra dimension, fitting naturally thanks to carefully curated affinities, a perfect echo to uncompromising creativity. The art in our retail spaces sparks emotion while instantly transmitting the values of the Maison.
Art de vivre and art
A monumental sculpture, a copper arc rises from the lagoon with metallic arms that reflect the rays of the sun. At the Cheval Blanc Rhandeli hotel in the Maldives, artist Vincent Beaurin plays with water and light in both the rooms and the landscape. Cheval Blanc, the hospitality brand of LVMH, transforms a journey into multifaceted invitations. Its unforgettable Maisons* and horizons offer escapades where guests discover a unique collection of contemporary artworks. As captivating expressions of unique experiences, these singular creations are inseparable from an exceptional art de vivre.
At Cheval Blanc Courchevel, Bruno Peinado’s mirrored Trojan Horse, Xavier Veilhan’s bear, seemingly sculpted from snow, or the immense pearl necklace by Jean-Michel Othoniel all open fresh poetic perspectives for guests. The soon to reopen Cheval Blanc Saint Barth Isle de France will unveil the Constellation of Pegasus, a giant mobile by Jean-Michel Othoniel set in the heart of a tropical paradise conceived by garden designer Madison Cox.
LVMH welcomes creativity to the center of its different universes not simply to kindle sensations, but also to explore meaning. There is an osmosis between excellence and innovative expressiveness. When Hennessy invited the art collective Marshmallow Laser Feast to create an installation for its “Founder’s Cellar” in Cognac – where its most precious eaux-de-vie are carefully stored – the idea was to pay tribute to the sublime, inspired skill and almost spiritual dedication of the master blender. Entitled “The Quest”, an amazing galaxy of almost immaterial crystals is intersected by light and enriched by sound, a celebration of the pinnacle of excellence that can be reached when prodigious nature and virtuoso artisans meet…
«The art in our retail spaces sparks emotion while instantly transmitting the values of the Maison.»
Shopping as artistic journey
As the virtual world continues to permeate daily lives, the desire – indeed the need – to reconnect with simple pleasures becomes stronger than ever. Pleasures such as wandering through a store, being surprised, or discovering some inner enrichment. The stores of LVMH Maisons seek to elevate reality, to connect with true emotions and encourage time for contemplation.
Guerlain’s display window on the Champs Élysées is a perfect example. Emmanuelle Rybojad’s pop neon light installation proved such a tremendous success that it will stay in place through fall 2018. This was a natural collaboration around the launch of the iconic Rouge G lipstick. Indeed, what better way to bring to life this sensual, insouciant and customizable makeup than the artist’s lighthearted and charming scintillating mouths. Guerlain of course has a long history of supporting talented artists. Each year the Maison’s flagship store at 68, Champs-Elysées takes part in the “private itinerary” tour during the FIAC international art fair. Although the theme of the rendezvous has been women and femininity for a dozen years, 2018 will mark an exception with an exhibition called simply “Future Anterior”. Put together by curator Caroline Mensensee, the exhibition proposes a special take on the 190th anniversary of the founding of the Maison*.
The anniversary is being celebrated throughout the year and includes a tribute to photography, which was invented in the same era as Guerlain, the boutique showcased a series of photos commissioned from eight photographers, each illustrating a period in the history of the Maison. In addition to inviting artists to share their singular perspectives of the Maison, events such as this are a tremendous springboard to boost the recognition of emerging and established artists by the public.
Distinctive exhibition spaces at stores sometimes really push boundaries, as at Le Bon Marché, now well-known for its regular art events. In winter 2017 the celebrated department store gave carte blanche to Argentine artist Leandro Erlich*, who revisited the architecture with trompe-l’œil illusions, creating an itinerary like a waking dream as visitors meander through the store. This masterful immersion echoes installations in previous years by Ai Weiwei and Chiharu Shiota.
The store as cultural destination
When the store environment and products transcend reality, shopping becomes an ideal chance to discover new worlds.
Le Bon Marché began acquiring its collection of contemporary art 30 years ago and displays the works on every floor of the store. Paintings, sculptures, drawings and photos have all been selected for their intrinsic beauty, evocative force and the questions and emotions they inspire. Unexplored territories await visitors at every turn…
The Bulgari* “New Curiosity Shop” is a cultural attraction in itself. A future-facing version of its forerunner at Bulgari’s historic Via Condotti store, inaugurated in 1905, the new space created by architect Peter Marino celebrates the art of wonder. The shop brings together a playful array of opposites, antique pieces and new models against the backdrop of morphing and sometimes extravagant decors. On display through fall 2018, wax sculptures by Chilean artist David Aaron Angeli are like sinuous, mysterious shadows, resonating with the snake* theme that has long inspired iconic Bulgari creations.
«With creative audacity, LVMH and its Maisons continually renew the art of retail while at the same time renewing the scope for artistic expression.»