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Today luxury brand Louis Vuitton opened a new store (Louis Vuitton George Street Maison) in Sydney, Australia.
We've been tipped that Gucci is also planning to open a megastore in Sydney's CBD. This follows a trend of high end fashion labels looking to hold parties in 'Sin City' Sydney including Mulberry, and you have Chanel and Prada tipped to soon open new luxury stores.
Apparently some Sydneysiders still have some loose change to spend on luxury goods (or at least that's what the band bean-counters and marketers are banking on).
The Louis Vuitton George Street Maison, understood to have cost in the region of $10 million, will deliver three-storeys of men's and women's fashion, plus "personalised services".
The iconic French fashion brand enjoyed its VIP opening in Sydney and of course there's a couple of celebs to be spotted, with Australian actress Cate Blanchett (carbon campaigning to fashion is quite diverse) getting a bit of media rub off from the event today. It's also strongly rumoured that there will be a party at the premises tonight. No, Angelina Jolie, who has associated with the brand, will not be there, but some Aussie celebrities sure will be. Company CEO Yves Carcelle was at today's launch and is expected to also show tonight.
Louis Vuitton Oceania CEO Philip Corne advised the new development had been a long time coming for the brand, which now has 10 stores across the nation.
"We wouldn't commit to the investment until we found the right space that allowed us to present the brand as we should," he said.
Not to be upstaged (too much) this coming Wednesday Gucci will also celebrate its latest store opening at Westfield Sydney, the city's mega retail development in the Pitt St Mall, which also houses the luxury labels Mulberry, Christian Louboutin, Bottega Veneta and a Chanel boutique, while its Castlereagh St show-piece undergoes a $4 million refurbishment.
Corne understands that his brand is high end luxury and not for everyone: "People have worked hard and are rewarding themselves."
As Time magazine once said, it was the French who "practically invented the notion of luxury in the 17th century, and in the 18th century, when Marie Antoinette took up residence in Versailles, and added her own twist to the genre". After conducting a survey on global luxury, the magazine concluded Europeans regard "luxury as a means of expressing their individuality and style while placing high authenticity and pedigree".
In Sydney apparently there is a group of cashed up consumers who don't mind spending up on luxury goods.
A big congratulations to top brass Yves Carcelle, Philip Corne, Jean-Baptiste Debains and their team for putting on a great launch today.
Louis Vuitton cool and hip tips: we understand that the company sometimes creates very limited amounts of personalised goods. How about a guitar case for Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, a surfboard and surfboard cover (what pro would actually use that) and even a skate-board and cover (good luck with Maroubra Beach Skatepark local boys). When LV talks "personalised services" and "personalised products", they aren't kidding.
Louis Vuitton (Australia)
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