Paris Luxury: A Special Peek behind the Scenes
No one does style better than Paris luxury brands. This year, for the first time ever, 25 key players in that market will welcome visitors into their workshops, private mansions and family vineyards. They are calling the occasion Les Journées Particulières and describe it as “a voyage through the most emblematic and inspiring sites of luxury.” It will be a very special, totally French tribute to this autumn’s theme—le voyage—of the Journées du Patrimoine.
The Journées de la Patrimoine are an annual September celebration of French history, architecture and art of living. Started in 1984 by Jack Lang, then the French culture minister, they offer tours through landmarks that are usually off-limits to visitors. Always taking place the third weekend in September, the festival went pan-European in 1991.
Via châteaux, stately homes and hôtels particuliers, Paris luxury always plays a central role. But never has entry been offered to working heritage sites such as Moët & Chandon’s Résidence de Trianon, the Place Vendôme salons of Chaumet where Napoleon ordered jewelry or Guerlain’s maison du parfum.
That is about to change, thanks to Paris luxury firm Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy. On a new pair of Open Days, all 25 of its companies will now open private family studios, showrooms and vineyards. The real plus: resident artisans will be working as usual. Anyone and everyone is invited, so you, too, can sigh over Dior’s Avenue Montaigne studios or visit Vuitton’s legendary Ateliers d’Asnières.
This was the idea of 33-year-old Antoine Arnault, CEO of luxury men’s shoemakers Maison Berluti (and son of LVMH founder Bernard Arnault). Also head of press for the luxury titan, the younger Arnault says, “This is a new gesture of communication. All these locations are treasures and we are happy to open their doors. I just hope all who come are as moved and amazed as I am by the savoir faire of our exceptional artisans”.
In fact, LVMH will offer more than Paris luxury; sites in Italy, Spain, Poland and Britain are also involved. How will it all work? The Open Days are scheduled for Saturday, October 15, and Sunday, October 16, but the booking process is already under way. You can go to the Journées Particulières website right now, input your e-mail and join the queue for alerts.
There, you’ll find the whole list of destinations and you can follow the program as it is announced. Once you have “inscribed,” you’ll get regular newsletters plus a head start in scheduling visits. You’ll also learn the meaning of Paris luxury terms such as chaussonner (a couture technique), remuage (how fine wines are rotated) and emmaillement (a skill that keeps jewelry supple).
These locations are legends that hold the soul of Paris luxury. So one thing is certain—you won’t be alone. But, in this case, standing in line is going to be worth it. Although its caves and studios are full-time places of work, LVMH carefully preserves its architecture and furnishings.
“We are all animated,” says Antoine Arnault, “by a concern for perfection. So, whether your fascination is leather goods, jewels or couture, we encourage you to come and see something extraordinary. These sites are the very heart of our global prestige and we are happy to help the public share in our passion.”
Paris, passion, luxury—it’s an offer you can’t refuse.
Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy