Asnière. Chances are, you’ve never heard of this town. Unless you grew up north of Paris. Or are a Vuitton fan. Since I’ve been drinking the Vuitton Kool-Aid for eight months now, I count myself a fan. And my visit to their atelier/museum/home last week in Asnière only made me more so.
I guess the fete was to properly kick off a new beginning for us—moving to the Vuitton space, starting on this new project, etc. Plus a good brand will do everything it can to bring its heritage, beliefs and sensibilities to life for its adherents.
I had taken the online tour, but there’s no way you can appreciate the immaculate detail of the historic Vuitton house unless you’re there in person. Three generations of the family lived there; now it’s a private museum—an Art Nouveau gem.
The day began in the late afternoon, with the museum director sitting us down for tea and cookies, while giving us a little family and company background. Genial! Herbal tea from fine china, surrounded by plushness on all sides? I could get used to it. I couldn’t help but notice that the sterling silver serving set offered that new, fake sugar stuff in addition to classic sugar cubes—a prime example of the company’s balance of tradition and innovation.
After our indulgent moment, we were taken inside the atelier—a fancy word for factory because this factory is indeed fancy. We weren’t allowed to take photos, but all I can say is it was sort of thrilling to see spools of multicolor monogram canvas, stacks of hard-frame briefcases, and special order wardrobes, trunks and cases in progress. It was really too cool.
On the second floor of the home, there’s a small but significant museum devoted to the company’s founding principles on travel. After all the months of research and writing I’ve been doing, it was inspiring to see some of it brought to life.
After a proper team-building meeting, it was onto aperos and dinner. Veuve Cliquot was passed. A beautiful yet casual buffet dinner was served. And I got my fill of dessert.
Details are everything.