After an extensive renovation that began in January 2017, Michigan Avenue’s Louis Vuitton boutique (919 N. Michigan Ave.) is open for business—and totally refreshed. Sure, the revamped flagship showcases the legendary French craftsmanship that the 163-year-old brand is known for (more on that later). But, the space itself will appeal to design-lovers on a whole other level.
Renowned architect Peter Marino—who’s designed international boutiques ranging from Dior in Tokyo to Chanel in Beverly Hills, Fendi in Rome, and Bulgari in Chicago—took the lead on redesigning the space.
The shop’s exterior is decked with a bronze pattern inspired by Louis Vuitton’s signature Damier checkerboard print. Inside, a foyer is lined with French limestone, and the wood floor is laid out in a tidy parquet pattern. Clean-lined furniture throughout the space was selected by Marino himself; he also handpicked figurative paintings by contemporary artists Kimiko Fujimura, Serge Alain Nitegeka, and Eduardo Terrazas for the store.
With a retail area that’s been expanded by 60 percent, the store houses separate areas devoted to goods for men and women. New to the store is the Objets Nomades Collection, which comprises furniture and home décor inspired by international voyages. Additionally, the store will sell two handbags that are exclusive to the Michigan Avenue location. The Twist PM ($3,750, left) and the Petite Malle ($5,750, right) both come in silver Epi leather with a chevron pattern.
The Louis Vuitton flagship originally opened on Michigan Avenue in 2003, but the brand’s history in Chicago goes back much further. In 1893, Louis Vuitton’s son Georges Vuitton showcased flat-lidded trunks at the World’s Columbian Exposition, marking the brand’s stateside debut. The historical ties between the brand and the city also show up in an antique piece on display: a monogrammed trunk that belonged to Marshall Field’s sister, Laura Field Diblee.