LVMH looks to build Louis Vuitton mega-flagship in Beverly Hills

Superstore would replace failed plans for Cheval Blanc hotel on Rodeo Drive

LVMH Eyes Louis Vuitton Mega-Flagship in Beverly Hills
LVMH's Bernard Arnault; Louis Vuitton's Pietro Beccari; 468 Rodeo Drive (Getty, LVMH, Jérémy Barande / Ecole polytechnique Université Paris-Saclay)

LVMH has pivoted from proposing a luxe hotel on Rodeo Drive to favoring a “think huge” flagship for Louis Vuitton shoppers.

The Paris-based luxury goods conglomerate has pitched a Louis Vuitton flagship store on the site of the failed 109-room Cheval Blanc hotel project at 468 Rodeo Drive, Women’s Wear Daily reported via Yahoo, citing unidentified sources.

The luxury fashion house has already commissioned architectural drawings for the site on the corner of Rodeo Drive and South Santa Monica Boulevard. 

In 2018, LVMH bought the building at 468 Rodeo Drive –– formerly occupied by Brooks Brothers –– for $245 million.

Four years later, the firm won approval from the city’s Planning Commission to build a luxury hotel. 

But in June, Beverly Hills voters nixed the proposal by a margin of 80 votes after labor union Unite Here Local 11 had gathered enough signatures to trigger a citywide ballot measure. 

LVMH, run by the world’s richest person, Bernard Arnault, will now focus on building a Louis Vuitton emporium on the more than 50,000-square-foot lot.

Vuitton, now led by CEO Pietro Beccari, seems intent on building increasingly bigger and more spectacular retail attractions, according to WWD.

A mammoth silver metal trunk on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris now shelters a huge Art Nouveau-style building earmarked for “a new project for the maison,” not far from the current Vuitton flagship.

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Vuitton’s women’s artistic director Nicholas Ghesquière has said it would be a hybrid space including a store, a cultural venue and a hotel, to be designed by architect Peter Marino. A construction permit registered with the City of Paris mentions retail, hotel accommodation and the construction of a basement level and interior courtyard.

Beccari, who joined Vuitton a year ago from Dior, masterminded the Dior 30 Montaigne mega-flagship that includes a museum, restaurant, pastry café, shaded courtyards and a hotel suite that offers a run of the store all night long, according to WWD.

The executive is known for bold gestures and audacious events, telling employees: “Don’t think big — think huge!”

Vuitton already operates a growing fleet of restaurants, cafés and chocolate shops as it grows its “lifestyle” brand beyond its core businesses of fashion, leather goods, fine jewelry, watches and fragrances, according to WWD.

LVMH is known for playing the long game in luxury and had spent three years presenting architectural plans, studies and analyses to make sure the first Cheval Blanc hotel in the U.S. was right for Beverly Hills.

It must now once again pass through an entitlement gauntlet for a local Louis Vuitton extravaganza. 

— Dana Bartholomew

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