global cities are the leading economic entities of tomorrow, and the airports that serve them have already seen a gradual transformation, making them look and feel more and more as an urban extension in terms of retail and shopping experience. on top of that, there's a staggering rise of tourists from china - mind you, in 2013 there were 97.3 million chinese traveling overseas who collectively spent usd 129 billion on goods and services - which has instigated a change in the retail strategy of global luxury brands. banking on the mobility and splurging behaviour of this oriental demographic, a current trend is a presence of prestigious mono-brand stores at the major air hubs where they often travel to. french fashion house louis vuitton has followed luxury peers and recently set up shop at london's heathrow airport, the very first of its kind in the old continent.
situated at the state-of-the-art terminal 5, the main hub of british airways' global network, the store occupies a 300 sqm. [3,229 sq.ft.] ellipse-shaped pavilion with a louvered glass façade on the airside of the building. interestingly, the shell is spiced up by a specially commissioned digital artwork by italian artist ange leccia. inside it's an equally glitzy affair, featuring a considered and well-appointed open space that allows easy browsing, and a ceiling made up of suspended aluminum blades, ranging from a gold oak brushed veneer to others clad in bronze and gold wallpaper. the new louis vuitton store carries a collection of leather goods, women’s ready-to-wear and shoes, accessories, sunglasses, jewellery and watches. location: terminal 5, gate level [heathrow].