Louis Vuitton Showcase in L.A.; Paris Protests Hit LVMH Offices

Crafting Dreams: Louis Vuitton is in Los Angeles presenting “Crafting Dreams,” a collection of objects and goods.

Opened on Wednesday and available for visits until May 3, access is by appointment only at a private residence.

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Visitors can expect Objets Nomades, hard-sided trunks, watches, fine jewelry and one-of-a-kind leather goods. They’ll be on view with showcases of special collaborations by the French house and various creatives throughout the years. There are also opportunities to create personalized pieces with Louis Vuitton artisans.

“Crafting Dreams represents the pinnacle of the Maison’s tradition of regional savoir-faire activations, celebrating bespoke items and singular offerings that highlight Louis Vuitton’s legendary craftsmanship and heritage,” notes the house. “Crafting Dreams will reveal a sophisticated selection of pieces from the Maison’s most exclusive métiers. Notably, the Los Angeles presentation will be an exclusive opportunity to preview the Cabinet of Curiosities by Marc Newson, which will make its official debut at Milan Design Week later in the month. Available in three colorways, the trunk features 19 modular cubes, with the smallest cubes having a hidden back compartment to store one’s most precious belongings. Hard-sided trunks are the earliest Vuitton product, so working with Newson on the Wonder Trunk is a testament to both the Maison’s heritage and commitment to design innovation.”

Highlights include an Infinity Party Trunk containing a complete Champagne service, adorned with artist Yayoi Kusama’s multicolored signature dots, as well as a Vanity Mahjong set, released in 2022, and new Rolling Trunk — both traveling to the U.S. for the first time. — RYMA CHIKHOUNE

Paris Protests: As thousands of people took to the streets of Paris on the 12th day of demonstrations against President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reforms, protesters forced their way into the headquarters of luxury giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

Demonstrators pushed their way into the building at 22 Avenue Montaigne in the city’s tony 8th arrondissement. Protesters did not enter any of the stores on the nearby Avenue des Champs-Élysées.

Videos posted on social media showed dozens of protesters, many wearing CGT union vests, bashing down the glass doors of the building while holding red flares and waving flags. They remained in the lobby for about 10 minutes before exiting the building.

Protesters are asking for the legislation to be withdrawn. Macron used a constitutional loophole to push through the legislation last month. The country’s constitutional council will issue its ruling on the reform Friday.

The pension reform bill would raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 years old. The increase in retirement age is meant to reflect a difference in life expectancy for various generations. When most of France’s current retirees entered the workforce in the 1980s, the average life expectancy was 74. Now the average life expectancy in France is 82.

The protests comes just a day after the Louis Vuitton, Dior and Givenchy parent company reported revenues rose 17 percent to 21.04 billion euros for the first quarter of 2023 despite “a geopolitical and economic environment which remains uncertain.”

Chairman and chief executive officer Bernard Arnault is considered the richest man in the world, passing Tesla and Twitter owner Elon Musk, with an estimated net worth of $211 billion. He has added $53 billion to his net worth over the last year, with soaring sales at his luxury brands.

The French group employs more than 150,000 people.

A spokesperson for LVMH declined to comment. The CGT Union did not respond to requests for comment. — RHONDA RICHFORD

ART AND SOUL: There are many canvases for creative expression: French accessories and fashion designer Géraldine Guyot and her artist friend Ben Arpéa both used linen in a summer collaboration for her brand Destree.

Guyot faithfully reproduced the checkered motifs, potted flowers and sun-baked colors from Arpéa’s paintings, applying them to column dresses with circular cutouts ringing the waist, and her signature puff-sleeved jackets and band-collared shirts.

“Destree and my work go very well together,” Arpéa remarked at a cocktail party Thursday night at the Galerie Camille Pouyfaucon, where the artist hung several new large linen canvases, and Guyot displayed her 10-item collection, dropping next week on Destree’s e-store and in its Paris boutique.

It’s plain that the artist and the French entrepreneur, who has parlayed her passion for modern and contemporary art into unique hats, handbags, jewelry and apparel, share an affection for geometric shapes, bold color and designs with a sunny, homespun character.

Destree X Ben Arpea
A look from the Destree & Ben Arpéa collection.

“We thought that for a summer collection his patterns would look amazing,” Guyot enthused.

For the event, Arpéa fashioned quirky clothing racks vaguely reminiscent of Memphis design, but wonkier and rough-hewn, washed over with an oil paint and sand mixture.

Guyot also enlisted a third bold creative, Spanish caterer Gabriela Palatchi, better known as Gabfoods, to dress a buffet table that seemed to bring Arpea’s aesthetic to life in cakes and other sweet treats.

Arpéa worked in hospitality and became a full-time artist during the coronavirus pandemic. He is now represented by four galleries, with Pouyfaucon describing his work as questioning “the century-old motifs and canons of classical landscape and still life, reinterpreted through a contemporary artistic language.”

Meanwhile, Guyot is hunting for real estate to open Destree’s next freestanding store, either Stateside or in Asia.

One year ago the Paris-based accessories firm she cofounded with Laetitia Lumbroso welcomed a host of high-profile investors, all female, including such bold-faced names as Beyoncé, RihannaReese Witherspoon, Gisele Bündchen and Gabriela Hearst, along with venture capital firm Sequoia Capital China, at the behest of Angelica Cheung.

Handbags — including hero styles like the Albert — rank as Destree’s biggest product category, and some have been done up in Arpéa’s colors as part of the summer capsule. — MILES SOCHA

Diva Devotion: Lights, drama and costume.

Enter “Diva,” a new exhibition opening in June from the Victoria & Albert Museum celebrating the performers who defined, subverted and embraced the phrase.

From the 19th century to today, “Diva” will exhibit the colorful world of the men and women who used their platforms to entertain, educate and inform, from the world of pop, including Cher, Elton John and Diana Ross, to opera’s high esteemed singers Maria Callas and Adelina Patti.

Cher, Elton John and Diana Ross at Rock Awards  Santa Monica Civic Auditorium 1975; Various Locations; Mark Sullivan 70's Rock Archive  (Photo by Mark Sullivan/Contour by Getty Images)
Cher, Elton John and Diana Ross at the Rock Awards in 1975. (Photo by Mark Sullivan/Contour by Getty Images)

“Today the word diva holds a myriad of meanings. At the heart of this exhibition is a story of iconic performers who with creativity, courage and ambition have challenged the status quo and used their voice and their art to redefine and reclaim the diva,” said Kate Bailey, curator of the exhibition.

The showcase will feature more than 60 looks with many rare pieces, such as Marilyn Monroe’s fringed black dress worn in “Some Like It Hot”; a red Christian Dior gown made for Vivien Leigh in “Duel of Angels”; Tina Turner’s Bob Mackie flame dress from 1977; Sandy Powell’s Louis XIV costume with a towering powdered wig and train for John’s 50th birthday party; and Shirley Bassey’s couture pink gown designed by Julien MacDonald for Glastonbury in 2007.

“I’m delighted that the V&A will be displaying my Glastonbury look in DIVA, complete with diamanté wellington boots! It is wonderful to see the diva celebrated in this exhibition, and to see the V&A reclaiming the title. To me, ‘diva’ is all about the power of the voice and the ability to entertain, to succeed against odds, to fight, and break through barrier after barrier: to have your voice heard,” said Bassey in a statement.

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01:  Photo of Tina TURNER; performing live onstage c.1979, solo era  (Photo by Gai Terrell/Redferns)
Tina Turner performing live onstage c.1979. (Photo by Gai Terrell/Redferns)

The exhibition has been divided into two acts.

Act one will trace the history of divas with a focus on the first opera divas Patti and Jenny Lind, as well as the first wave of feminism and silent-screen sirens.

Act two will explore the divas of today and the women who have reclaimed the title, such as Aretha Franklin, including how her hit song “Respect” became an anthem for empowerment. In the same section, there will be nods to Rihanna, Dolly Parton, Nina Simone and Ella Fitzgerald. — HIKMAT MOHAMMED

Hydration Central: Clinique is coming to Coachella.

The beauty brand will unveil a Clinique Hydration House in which festivalgoers can socialize, enjoy product giftings and immersive installations, and attend a pool party with live music by rising DJs Brittany Sky, Tay James and duo Coco and Breezy.

Rendering of Clinique's Coachella Hydration House.
Clinique Hydration House.

Clinique will also arrive at Day Club Palm Springs, which bills itself “the desert’s favorite pool party series,” to extend the hydration-themed celebration and further highlight the newest launches within the brand’s Moisture Surge franchise: The 100H Auto-Replenishing Hydrator, and the Broad Spectrum SPF 28 Sheer Hydrator, which retail for $82 and $48, respectively.

“Clinique has always been a multigenerational brand — we’ve all heard the stories of people being introduced to the brand by their mother, their grandmother,” said Beth Guastella, senior vice president general manager, Clinique North America. “We started thinking in particular about young consumers today, and how we can show up where they are in an authentic way.”

The Coachella festivities (which will take place both weekends of the festival) are the first of many comprising Clinique’s summer-long “Protect Your Glow” campaign, which seeks to emphasize the importance of proper sun care among Gen Z. The campaign will include off-campus pool parties at the University of Florida and the University of Arizona, as well as mobile pop-up trucks in select cities including New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago, all featuring giveaways, informational sessions and an interactive “affirmation wall,” with the aim of helping consumers uplift themselves and each other.

“Our ultimate goal is to have consumers experience Clinique in a different way — to have them stop and take notice and say, ‘Wow, that’s Clinique?'” Guastella said. “It’s an opportunity for people to discover — or rediscover — our brand in a whole new way, while empowering them with the knowledge of how to combat daily aggressors that impact their skin.” — NOOR LOBAD

Boston Strong: The Boston Marathon has a new retail sponsor.

Dick’s Sporting Goods and the Boston Athletic Association, organizer of the famed event which will be held this year on April 17, have signed a multiyear deal that makes Dick’s the official retail sponsor of all BAA events, beginning with Monday’s marathon.

As part of the deal, Dick’s will also become the presenting sponsor of the Boston Marathon Fan Fest, a three-day festival held in advance of the race.

In celebration of the 127th running of the race, Dick’s unveiled a building-length Sports Change Lives banner with the tagline, Running Changes You, on Boylston Street at the future site of a Dick’s House of Sport Boston location.

Located just a short distance from the Boston Marathon finish line, the 100,000-square-foot store in the Prudential Center is slated to open in spring 2024. The House of Sport concept features athletic apparel, footwear and equipment for a variety of sports and outdoor activities along with in-store experiences such as a climbing wall, batting cages and TrackMan golf simulators.

“We are honored to join forces with the Boston Athletic Association to support race participants and spectators,” said Mark Rooks, vice president, category marketing and partnerships for Dick’s. “We believe in the power of sports to change lives and know that running the Boston Marathon can do just that.”

“At the core of the BAA’s mission and vision is promoting healthy lifestyles through sport, especially running,” said Jack Fleming, the organization’s president and chief executive officer. “In partnering with Dick’s Sporting Goods, we look forward to bringing to life that mission and vision to even more people, especially along the Boston Marathon finish stretch at the Dick’s House of Sport Boston, which can be truly inspirational to so many throughout the year.”

As part of the sponsorship agreement, Dick’s will also serve as the retail sponsor for the BAA Half Marathon, 10K and 5K and the companies will work to develop community engagement initiatives year-round. — JEAN E. PALMIERI

Building Up: Tapestry Inc. has named Alan Lau to the board of directors, bringing the total number of board members to 11.

Alan Lau
Alan Lau is joining the Tapestry board of directors.

Lau became chief business officer for Animoca Brands last July, a gaming company where he oversees and provides support to the company’s more than 340 portfolio companies and leads M&A and business development. Earlier, he was chairman and chief executive officer of Tencent WeSure, a fintech company that he cofounded to offer internet insurance to WeChat users. Before that, he was Asia head for McKinsey Digital, supporting both Big Tech companies and sector incumbents to execute their digital strategies.

Before entering the tech space, Lau worked in corporate finance, first at Citibank and then at McKinsey & Co., where he was the Greater China head for the corporate finance practice, in charge of M&A and deal structuring support.

He also sits on multiple museum boards, including as the vice chair of M+ in Hong Kong and co-chair of the Asia committee at both Tate and The Guggenheim.

“We are extremely pleased that Alan Lau has agreed to join our board,” said Joanne Crevoiserat, chief executive officer of Tapestry. “As we continue to further refine our digital strategy across our portfolio of brands, Alan’s broad experience in engaging consumers across digital channels, leveraging technology and data analytics, as well as deep knowledge of the important China market, will be invaluable assets.”

Lau said, “I am excited to be joining the board of directors of Tapestry, a truly innovative, brand-led company. I look forward to supporting the company and helping to inform both its digital strategies and global development plans as it continues to drive long-term sustainable growth.” — LISA LOCKWOOD

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