For more than two decades, high-end French fashion house Louis Vuitton has published perspectives on travel across three collections – City Guides, Travel Books and Fashion Eye – a legacy it is continuing with the launch of ten new city guide books. Emily Eastman reports
Louis Vuitton has always had travel at its heart – it began making its famous steamer trunks 165 years ago – and since then has produced bags and luggage bedecked with LV’s distinctive monograms.
The fashion house’s foray into publishing began in the late nineties with a series of city guide books – ready for the start of the new decade, ten of them have been expanded and reintroduced with contemporary photography, insights from independent creatives and the latest information about the destinations.Combined, the images and recommendations form a curated list of must-see sights, must-dine spots and must-visit cultural spaces. In an age of tech and information overload, curation – especially in the printed form – is appreciated by the modern jet setter.
“Since 1998, Louis Vuitton City Guides have established themselves as the ultimate travel companions, bringing to life the world’s most fascinating cities for business and leisure travellers alike,” says the company.
“To capture the spirit of each city, Louis Vuitton reaches out to journalists, writers and major figures in the world of art and letters, whose contributions – together with those of artists, businesspeople and creative talents from many fields – make each City Guide a publication like no other.
“From five-star hotels to boutique concepts, gourmet restaurants to neighbourhood bistros, antique shops to designer hubs, museums and monuments, each Louis Vuitton City Guide is a treasure trove of invaluable information, which reveals the pleasures each city has to offer.
“Every City Guide also features a special guest contributor, who takes the reader on a personal exploration of their home city, along the way sharing tips on their favourite spots.”
The latest series features Paris, Beijing, Lisbon, London, Moscow, New York, San Francisco, Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo.
Each refreshes the narrative of the cities, with freelance journalists and guests recruited to share their insights. For Paris, architect and interiors expert François-Joseph Graf contributed, while the New York edition features actress and singer Sophie Auster (daughter of authors Paul Auster and Siri Hustvedt), while architect Kengo Kuma gives his take on Tokyo.
Although you should never judge a book by its cover, you could be forgiven for doing so in this case. Unsurprisingly, given their creator, the city guides are aesthetically pleasing, using beautiful block colours draw the eye in.
There are also digital editions of the books featuring interactive maps with geo-location tags and customisable address books. Meanwhile, an Apple TV extension showcases artists around the world offering a glimpse into their urban playgrounds.
The titles came shortly ahead of another Louis Vuitton launch, this time in its Fashion Eye series – image-led travel books that examine a place through the eyes of a fashion photographer, whether that’s an emerging talent or industry legend.
Two new titles, Japan and Orient Express, join 17 existing editions that traverse the world from Bali to Iran, the Silk Road to New York, Miami to Paris.
“After Louis Vuitton City Guides and Travel Books, this third collection presents travel photography with a fashion perspective, as the chosen photographers all infuse their images of great cities, faraway places or dream destinations with their unique vision,” says the company.
Do you still buy printed guide books? We live in an age of seemingly limitless free information online but the result is a sense of being over-whelmed. Therefore, Globetrender thinks that the need for curation is more emphatic than ever.