london: louis vuitton maison opening

the celeb-packed opening party may have taken place last week but louis vuitton's new maison [indeed, this is not a regular lv-store] officially opens to avid shoppers today. its grandeur is as such that it rivals even that of the brand's prestigious paris flagship. the superstore is a grand affair in more ways than one. it measures an impressive 15,000 sq.ft. spread over three floors and is rumoured to have cost well over gbp 30 million. it's designed by house architect peter marino who ingeniously fused louis vuitton's design heritage, hi-tech and cool contemporary art in the store's interior design. the ground floor features the many accessories collections juxtaposed with striking original artworks by the likes of takashi murakami, gilbert & george, damien hirst and other leading artists. a glass + led staircase leads to the first floor which is dedicated to womenswear and shoes, and on the second floor a private client suite is located. the huge two-storey luggage wall that highlights the brand's expertise, is probably the store's most spectacular feature. marking the opening, a small retrospective put together by überstylist katie grand features the first designs that designer marc jacobs created for the luxury brand. location: 17-20 new bond street [mayfair]. © louis vuitton / photography: stéphane muratet