The doors were closed early to the public as the staff inside began preparations for the evenings event. The Speedy handbag displays were set up while the catering staff from Cameron Mitchell restaurant put the final touches on the evenings offerings. With everything and everyone ready, invitees names were checked off at the door and the event began at the recently opened Louis Vuitton store at Easton Town Center in Columbus, Ohio. And what a night it was!
This was a combination event; to welcome customers to the new store and to honor a Louis Vuitton icon – the Speedy – in its many incarnations. And does it ever have multiple incarnations! There were two display walls of different Speedies; some still available, some rare classics, and some were just incredible. LV has collaborated with artists in the past and this year is no exception with the stunning Yayoi Kusama bags and accessories that were in the store, but we will talk about that in a later post. There was a Speedy made of ostrich skin, that fantastic denim bag that they no longer make (darn), and the one $20,000.00 mink Speedy pictured below. Well, fur is a fall trend after all.
LV staff members gave the guests a tour of the store and a history of each Speedy bag that was on display. Such a wealth of information was provided…who knew! Impressive. There was even a lady there who showed you how they make the bag handles. Now I assumed that the handles were entirely machine made. Guess who was wrong? The handles – filled with a material called toron – are machine stitched up to a certain part; the very end of the handles. It is at that point that they are hand sewn, afterwards a certain dye is rubbed over the raw edges which gives them that iconic burnt umber color and then those edges are rubbed down to complete the look. It was amazing to watch the demonstration and for the rest of the evening I looked at the handles on the bags differently; as works of hand craftsmanship.
The guests were served champagne, a very refreshing mint water, and a cocktail called the “Sweet Speedy” – get it – a Louis Vuitton custom made drink. Ahi tuna and polenta triangle appetizers, just two of the many yummies served, were accompanied by charming smiles and real napkins. No paper napkins for this soiree! The attentive servers were constantly moving about making sure everyone had what they wanted and if you didn’t they made sure that you received it quickly. Even though I did not have any, white chocolate truffles were served as dessert. Truffles and champagne? How elegant is that!
Guests busily perused what new purchases they wanted to make from the vast assortment of bags, scarves, jewelry, belts, and accessories while the people from Columbus Photo Booth began to take souvenir photos of the guests . At first people were a bit hesitant to have their pictures taken but when the word got out that there were staff people available to assist you in creating the ensemble you wanted – holding or wearing anything in the store for your souvenir photo – the fun quotient was kicked up a few notches! It was adult play dress up time with some very nice items. Your photo was printed in color or black and white upon request, available on the spot, and given to you in a LV monogrammed paper folder. All in attendance had a grand time and quite a few left with some new treasures.
Thank you, Louis Vuitton, for a marvelous time. The new store is just gorgeous. Would you consider doing this again for the holiday season?