Here is an origin tale of which a brand can be proud: In 1832, a 10-yr-aged boy in Jura, an jap location of France, loses his mom, a hatmaker. His farmer father remarries a cruel girl, dies soon just after, and the boy, now 13, leaves property to look for his fortune in Paris. Doing work odd work opportunities together the way, it normally takes him more than two a long time to stroll the 292 miles. The boy’s title is Louis Vuitton, and in two many years he’ll make trunks for the Empress of France 200 a long time after his start, his identify will appear in rap lyrics and pink carpet credits.
“It’s like a Cinderella story,” claims Louis Vuitton’s creative director for jewelry and watches, Francesca Amfitheatrof, reading your brain. Vuitton’s youthful journey was her inspiration for this year’s haute joaillerie, a staggering 90-piece collection dubbed Bravery, in celebration of his bicentennial.
I meet Amfitheatrof far from Vuitton’s France, at the Connecticut compound the place she life with her partner, Ben Curwin, a handling partner at an financial commitment advisory organization, and her teenage kids. The Litchfield County home, constructed in 1880, sprawls throughout just about 15 acres and incorporates a smaller herd of white buildings (the main property, Amfitheatrof’s studio, a guesthouse, two barns), furthermore a pristine pool and solarium, guiding which grows a pear tree that would make Cézanne salivate. We settle at a patio table possessing just wrapped her Vainness Reasonable picture shoot, Amfitheatrof has improved into a loose silk gown that hits just higher than her knees. Her still left ring finger glitters with two diamond bands, and on her reverse wrist she wears a black tag bracelet from the unbiased label she launched in 2019, Thief and Heist.
The juggernaut that is Louis Vuitton has extended served as a metonym of wealth in pop tradition, though generally in reference to the brand’s iconic leather-based goods (Audrey Hepburn, enjoying a jewel thief’s widow in 1963’s Charade, totes a set of Vuitton travel bags Eddie Murphy’s Prince Akeem in 1988’s Coming to The united states has a fleet of them). Just lately, the brand has amped up investment decision in its jewellery arm: Amfitheatrof’s using the services of in 2018 was the starting off gun. In early 2020, just months right after Vuitton’s father or mother enterprise, LVMH, acquired Tiffany & Co. for $16.2 billion, Vuitton produced far more waves in the gem globe when it obtained the second major rough diamond ever slice from the earth. The 1,758-carat Sewelo diamond, mined the yr just before, is so large that it could not plausibly suit inside a human mouth. If pop lifestyle is any barometer, it’s telling that the initial episode of Netflix’s label-loving reality clearly show Bling Empire, which premiered in early 2021, facilities not on a Vuitton bag but jewelry: referred to as “Necklacegate 90210,” the climactic scene involves one millionaire putting on a 1-of-a-kind pink sapphire necklace from Vuitton’s 2012 haute joaillerie selection to the dwelling of a different millionaire, who supposedly owns the exact same piece.
If 1 experienced to explain the designer in a single word, it may possibly be regarded. When building a position she tends to maintain her interlocutor’s gaze even though reducing her eyelids intensely, as though words do not fairly suffice but telepathy might. In between her assertion eyebrows and high cheekbones she resembles a Experience Morph of Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra. Her voice is deep, and when she was born in Tokyo and used her childhood in New York, Moscow, and Rome (a fittingly nomadic upbringing for a custodian of Vuitton’s legacy), the British accent she picked up at a ladies boarding college in Kent—and cemented at London’s Royal College of Artwork, and subsequent decade-plus residing in that city—has caught. She has served as the consulting imaginative director at Wedgwood, the head curator of Florence’s Museo Gucci, and as Tiffany layout director. Of her operate-from-residence wardrobe, “I simply cannot say that I was listening to heels,” she suggests, “but I wasn’t in sweatpants.”