I’m back after spending an evening at the Louis Vuitton Island Maison at Marina Bay Sands. It was an exclusive preview and there are certainly less than a hundred guests within this gigantic store, leaving my family to tour the Maison rather peacefully with our very sweet and charming guide. In short, this store IS amazing. While I’ve been to the other stores in Singapore and the two Maison stores at Hong Kong, there is just something special about the Island Maison.
The store feels like a mix between a museum and a luxury cruise liner (especially with the Mezzanine level which does resemble a ship’s deck). They could’ve easily built more retail space, but instead there are only two levels at the Island section – the expansive and high ceiling within the Crystal Pavilion is embellished with the eye-catching, floating art called “Upper Strut” by Richard Deacon. The glass facets of the Crystal are filled with cascading white “sails” to block out the excess sunlight, but also gives momentary glimpses into the sea outside. With port holes, deck furniture and an abundance of teak panels, it almost feels like you are “traveling”. You just have to see it.
Before I start bombarding this post with photos, here is a “directory” of all the sections in the Island Maison:
Louis Vuitton Island Maison – Store Layout
Marina Bay Sands Shoppes – Basement Level 1
Exotic/Rare Leather Goods
Marina Bay Sands Shoppes – Basement Level 2
Gallery/Tunnel to Crystal Pavilion
Crystal Pavilion North – Level 1
“Jetty”/Outdoor Store Entrance
Men’s Universe: Ready to Wear, Bags and Leather Goods, Accessories
Women’s Universe: Ready to Wear, Bags and Leather Goods, Accessories
Crystal Pavilion North – Mezzanine Level
Travel Room: Trunks, Luggage, Travel Accessories, Ready to Wear
Custom Order Collection
Some interesting info!
There are no “limited editions” or commemorative products for the store’s grand opening. Apparently, the company wants to stop associating products (or at least, special variants) with store launches.
Although the store is completely air-conditioned, those who are sensitive to heat should be aware that the Crystal Pavilion gets a little warm throughout the afternoon. It is a structure mostly made of glass and has generous amounts of sunlight sieving in, after all.
Also, the store can no longer sell items on display, so even if you see something you like on display, you might not be able to bring it home. This rule has been around for years but has been rarely enforced in Singapore, until now at Island Maison. This is to ensure that the customer receives “brand new” pieces.
Unlike the other stores in Singapore, where you can pick and try as much as you like and pay for the item you’ve been touching, the staff can only fetch (brand new) merchandise for customers only after payment. I’m not sure if this is the standard practice everywhere else in the world, but I have observed this at some stores overseas.
Apart from some convenience installations, there are lifts at the Island Maison (but not at the Marina Bay Sands Shoppes sections), an outdoor sitting area, a private lounge and yes, even guest washrooms. Throw in a café and I believe some guests will never want to leave.
Ready for the tour of the Island Maison? Click “Read Full Story!”
Grand Photo Tour of the Island Maison
All photos © Dejiki Nicholas. All items and designs featured in photos © Louis Vuitton.
NOTE: Do not archive, create derivations, reproduce, redistribute or modify. Please link directly to this blog post.
Store Display at B1 Entrance
Before I get you all excited, I was unable to get any pictures from the sections at B1, because a lot of people were there, mingling and sipping champagne while browsing the fine jewellery and watches, and I don’t want to be rude and intrusive.
Also, while there was a lot of freedom with photo-taking during this preview session (and most of the guests were happily snapping away), I am not sure about this when the store opens to public – so please always ask for permission from the staff if you wish to take any photos in the store.
You should behave yourself or the security staff will throw you into Marina Bay. Haha.
The Basement 1 entrance brings you right into the most expensive items offered by Louis Vuitton: Exotic/Rare leather goods, Fine jewellery and Timepieces. Nothing surprisingly, I mean, the neighbour stores are Hermès and Cartier! There are many intimate presentations spaces here and nothing lacking in the “first class” department. The exotic leather goods here are mainly Crocodile, Ostrich, Lizard and Snake skin versions of Vuitton’s classic bag styles. Also, there are some bags from the Monogram Antheia line (including Suede variants). There might be a few surprises here, so don’t be surprised if you end up being shell-shocked just after taking your first steps into the store here.
Let me continue with pictures from the Basement 2 level!
Nothing like a Louis Vuitton welcome – A fine display of the latest Paris style.
The Bookstore is where you can find Louis Vuitton books on high culture, as well as other relevant publications in topics such as art, fashion, culture and architecture. This is basically heaven for those who wish to get some of the loveliest coffee table books (and you want to splurge a little, or just choose not to buy from Basheer or Kinokuniya). Some specific special editions can only be found here, such as the “Louis Vuitton: Art, Fashion and Architecture” and the upcoming “Louis Vuitton: Architecture and Interiors” deluxe editions. The Louis Vuitton City Guide books are also available here. There is also a large screen here for videos. Now showing: The Little Groom at Marina Bay Island Maison, of course!
From here, we are still within the Shoppes area of Marina Bay Sands. Next to the Bookstore is the tunnel leading to the Crystal Pavilion North, or Island Maison. This is no ordinary tunnel – there are beautiful art pieces displayed here (including a stunning photograph by Chow Yun-Fat) and an actual “timeline” of Steamer bags presented in glass cases – from the extraordinary “first” Steamer bag to the latest ones in Damier Graphite and Monogram Macassar. The curved white ceiling is segmented with sparkling arcs of lights. Did I mention that you can enjoy viewing them while riding the travellator?
After a very short journey on the Nicest-travellator-in-the-world™, we reach.. the ESCALATORS! The decor is kept very simple here, just wood panels, but the eye-catching ceiling above just welcomes you to grandeur of the Island Maison. Once you reach ground level, you can either turn LEFT to head to the Men’s Universe, or head RIGHT to the Women’s Universe.
Women’s Universe is made up of several (yes, SEVERAL) bag bars, a large accessories corner, followed by a few spaces to showcase the latest Ready to Wear, and of course, not forgetting the most important thing for the ladies – the shoes!
One of the new Monogram High End bags and a row of heels to match. Ilyana, is your heart beating faster yet? Anyway they have ALL the SC bags here. Just saying. 😉
Let’s move on to the Men’s Universe. There’s a few bag bars here. The bags are grouped in a certain way so that it is easier to browse. So there’s one wall dedicated to bags in black and arctic grey Taiga leather, one with everything Damier Graphite and Damier Infini, and another section that is all about the classy brown hues that make the Damier Ebene, Utah and Taiga lines. Damier Geant and Monogram Macassar have their own corner near the escalator. I find this layout much more efficient (compared to the “everything here” style at other stores) if you have something already in mind – it is easy to compare bags or find alternatives conveniently this way.
Some items from the Fall/Winter 2011 Men’s Ready to Wear.
Finally, we’re done with the First Level. Let me show you what is on the Mezzanine level of the Island Maison. Over there is the first and only Travel Room in Asia-Pacific, and a nice tall shelf with special custom order products. The Travel Room focuses on the spirit of travel and memorable journeys, so expect to find all the famous luggage pieces that made Louis Vuitton famous – trunks, carryalls, duffles, hat boxes, you name it!
Before that, one last look at the Women’s Universe from the upper level.
The Travel Room also displays a selection of Ready to Wear that are easy to travel with, specifically those that can be easily folded to maximize bag room. Apart from from luggage, one can find almost all the travel kits, scarves and other travel necessities right here in the Travel Room. There are even exquisite table game cases sold here!
So that is the end of what I can offer to show online. I hope this post (aka image spam) has left you amazed or excited to personally make a visit to the Island Maison. The store will be open to public on Sunday, 18th September 2011. The gala opening and celebration party will take place on the night of 17th September 2011.