Antoine Arnault kicks off the Journées Particulières of LVMH
Antoine Arnault kicked off the Journées Particulières of LVMH on Thursday night in Paris, even if the executive admitted the actually debut was in New Zealand, at the luxury group’s Cloudy Bay winery.
“I wanted to mark the start of this year’s events, which begin tomorrow morning. Though that’s not quite true, because this evening at 22.30 PM Paris time, but in New Zealand at 9.30 in the morning, Cloudy Bay will open its doors, and then Cape Mentelle in Australia. Though on Sunday we will finish in Argentina and on the West Coast of America…. It’s a world tour of LVMH, in the finest way possible,” Arnault told a gathering of 300 people, largely a wide variety of LVMH staff, at the giant luxury conglomerate’s headquarters on Avenue Montaigne.
First launched in 2011, les Journées Particulières allow visitors to enter scores of ateliers, studios, caves and mansions within the LVMH, with no admission charge.
From discovering the secrets of France’s most famous shoemaker, Berluti, and perusing the Salons de Hotel Baudard de Saint James of jeweler Chaumet; or a walk through the private salons of the haute couture workshops of Christian Dior or a stroll in the vineyards of LVMH’s most venerable marque, Domaine des Lambrays, founded in 1365.
LVMH is a huge player in fine wines, so guests can visit Bodega Numanthia, with its Tinta de Toro varietal, said to be the blackest of all grapes, in Spain; or check out Polmos Zyradrdow, the Polish vodka distillery founded in 1910.
“For the first edition we were not at all certain that the public would come. I speak about that with some emotion. I remember coming along avenue Montaigne at 8AM that first morning and seeing hundreds of people, families, elderly ladies and little kids waiting for the doors of avenue Montaigne 30 to open and I thought we are going to write a beautiful page in history,” said Arnault, referring to Christian Dior’s headquarters.
Staged every two years, this month’s edition runs from Friday, October 12 to Sunday October 14, with in Europe alone, open doors in France, Italy, Switzerland, UK, Holland, Spain and Germany. Some 3,000 employees with 56 brands will welcome guests into over 70 sites on four continents. It reaches extends from pastry – Cova in Milan is one of Italy’s oldest pasticceria – to fine art, with the Fondation Louis Vuitton, and its giant glass confabulation designed by Frank Gehry in the Bois de Boulogne.
“We have a brainstorming session every year, a carte blanche, there is not a strict brief, but in the end the idea is quite simple, letting people have a voyage of discovery into our universe. Why change something that works?” said Antoine, a LVMH board member and eldest son of Bernard Arnault, the group’s main shareholder, and France’s richest man.
“I’d like above all to thank our designers and artisans, without whom our group could not exist. You are our foundation of excellence and creativity. They are the cardinal values of our group, along with, of course, innovation and entrepreneurship,” added Arnault, before thanking by name executives Hélène Freyss and Jean-Charles Tréhan.
The previous edition of Journées Particulières attracted 145'000 people, this issue has a target of 175,000.
“As we are chez LVMH, we are obliged to get results. So, for this event we set an ambitious target, but it’s doable. I now declare open the fourth edition!” said Arnault, as guests raised hundreds of glass of Veuve Clicquot in a toast.
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