Pulitzer Prize-winning author Paul Goldberger is about to take you on a mesmerizing journey around the globe. With his new book Louis Vuitton Skin: The Architecture of Luxury, the author gives you a tour of Louis Vuitton’s most distinctive stores. The concept of “skin,” which he mentions in the title, refers to the architectural exterior of a building: in this case, to Louis Vuitton’s unique facades.
“None of Louis Vuitton’s stores are designed to fit into the urban context in any conventional way… They are buildings designed to have the same appeal as the Maison’s products, elevated to civic scale,” Goldberg explains.From Sao Paulo to Seoul, Miami, and Mexico City, the book explores what Goldberg calls “the most radical rethinking of the concept of brand identity in our time.” In other words, the book draws our attention to an architectural revolution that the French luxury house has effectively invested in since the beginning of its journey. Rather than focusing on a single architectural identity, the Maison adopted the notion of architecture itself in its name, developing collective integrity throughout its stores.
Internationally renowned architects, such as Frank Gehry, Jun Aoki, and Peter Marino, have contributed to the Maison’s selection of buildings. Each of them has added elements that not only enhance the visual experience of the customers but also help evoke powerful emotions. Just like the products that are held within them, Louis Vuitton stores are modern, yet still celebrate the French House’s unique predilection for craftsmanship.
“The Louis Vuitton stores highlighted in this book are each dramatically different urbanistic and architectural expressions, all unlike anything the Maison has previously designed,” Goldberg adds. For example, the Istanbul Istinye Park store is wrapped in a sort of topographical map made from a three-dimensional printer; while Tokyo’s Namiki Dori store has a glass facade with undulating surfaces and shifting colors for an ultimate wave-like effect.
The book is available in six different covers. With each of them featuring one of Louis Vuitton’s most architecturally brilliant stores, you will be able to choose which one speaks the most to you. Will it be Beijing or Paris? Seoul or New York City? Tokyo or Singapore?