Louis Vuitton inaugurated its new Louis Vuitton Maison Osaka Midosuji flagship store on February 1st. Designed in close collaboration with architects Jun Aoki and Peter Marino, the store welcomes Café V, the first ever Louis Vuitton café, as well as its first restaurant, Sugalabo V, offering cuisine with Franco-Japanese influences. The new flagship reaffirms Louis Vuitton’s long and close relationship with Japan.
Louis Vuitton has been present in Japan since the opening of its first store in Tokyo in 1918 and has always shared a close affinity with the Land of the Rising Sun, anchored in a respect for tradition combined with vibrant modernity. The new Louis Vuitton Maison Osaka Midosuji is emblematic of this special relationship. Designed by Japanese architect Jun Aoiki, who has worked with Louis Vuitton on many projects over the years, the store is an invitation to embark on a sea-faring journey. It evokes the billowing sails of traditional Higaki-Kaisen cargo ships, a tribute to Osaka’s nautical spirit.
Designed to bathe the store in natural daylight, the building opens out to the city to breathe its distinctive energy. The store interior designed by American architect Peter Marino continues the dialogue between Louis Vuitton and Japan. Over four levels, the style that has made the trunkmaker renowned around the world blends harmoniously with Japanese materials imbued with centuries of tradition, such as woodwork and origami washi paper. Vast spaces are worked in subtle contrasts to elegantly marry spectacular halls with intimate spaces.
The multiple spaces also evoke Louis Vuitton’s commitment to supporting the arts. Twenty contemporary artworks curated by Peter Marino are featured alongside vintage Louis Vuitton trunks, creating a contemplative conversation between past and present. Bursts of colour in works by Vik Muniz, Polly Apfelbaum, Kimiko Fujimara and other artists offer a counterpoint to the building’s sleek lines.
With its never-ending embrace of innovation, Louis Vuitton has opened its first café and first restaurant on the top floor of the new store in Japan. The Café V spans a vast terrace, a bar and the exclusive Cocoon Room. There is also a discreetly concealed door to the Sugalabo V restaurant, proposing a unique dining experience. Both the café and restaurant are overseen by Japanese chef Yasuke Suga, a protégé of Joël Robuchon whose Tokyo restaurant Sugalabo topped 2019 world’s best restaurants ranking by “La Liste”. At the Louis Vuitton Maison Osaka Midosuji, Yasuke Suga proposes a cuisine that melds both French and Japanese inspirations, featuring the vast diversity of Japanese products.