You’ve probably heard of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but what about dinner at Louis Vuitton? Soon you will be able to do exactly that at the brand’s new Maison Osaka Midosuji in Japan. Opened just days ago, the flagship store houses the luxury giant’s very first café and restaurant – Le Café V and Sugalabo V – conceived in partnership with celebrated chef Yosuke Suga. A protégé of culinary legend Joël Robuchon, Suga recently clinched the top spot on the prestigious La Liste, a ranking of the best restaurants in the world.
Located on the top floor of the store, Le Café V is a sun-drenched space with floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor deck, serving up a French-inflected menu of salads, quiches, sandwiches, and desserts like mille-feuille and opera cake, paired with specialty teas, fine wines, cocktails, and an intriguing selection of mineral water. A speakeasy-style door next to the cocktail bar leads to Sugalabo V, the offshoot of Suga’s by-invitation-only Tokyo restaurant of the same name, which will offer more experimental tasting menus to a handful of guests each night.
Born out of the long-standing relationships between the luxury house and acclaimed architects Jun Aoki and Peter Marino, the new Maison draws on Osaka’s heritage as the most important port in Japan. Inspired by the sails of the traditional Hagaki-Kaisen cargo vessel, Aoki dreamt up a billowing white façade reinforced by metal fretwork motifs at ground level, giving the impression of a ship floating serenely over the waters. And to celebrate the Maison’s grand opening, artist Kenta Cobayashi lights up the store windows in a riot of lucid colours, using liquid crystal distortions to create a swirling sculpture that blurs the lines between digital fantasy and reality.
Maintaining the maritime feel of the four-storey structure, Peter Marino has imagined the interior with wooden floors, wood-clad pillars, and metal ceilings, interspersed with origami washi paper. Varying volumes are employed for the different Louis Vuitton universes, from vast halls to intimate lounges, while several distinctive editions of the Objets Nomades are scattered throughout the building, placed just so to emphasise or contrast the architecture.
The ground floor of the Maison is dedicated to women’s accessories, while the mezzanine showcases not only luggage and the Art of Travel, but also a bird’s eye panorama of the main hall. The complete collection of women’s ready-to-wear and accessories by Nicolas Ghesquière occupies the third floor, along with a number of products developed especially for the store’s opening, such as a mink hoody, B Blossom necklace, and sapphire Tambour watch. Meanwhile, the menswear items by Virgil Abloh can be found on the fourth level, where exclusive designs from the Spring/Summer 2020 fashion show, including cargo pants and a Taurillon messenger bag, rub shoulders with the permanent collection.