From Bags to Riches: Louis Vuitton Flagship Store Opens in Tel Aviv

The world's most valuable luxury brand brings its famous leather and logo to a large and luxurious new home in the Ramat Aviv Mall.

North Tel Aviv is about to get even posher. Louis Vuitton, one of the world's most recognizable luxury brands, is opening its Israeli flagship store on Thursday at the Ramat Aviv Mall and with it comes an invasion of its iconic logo, the interlocking initials LV.

The new 300 square meter store, designed by architect Panagiotis Chatzinas, a frequent Louis Vuitton collaborator, features separate sections for women's bags, shoes, menswear and other collections. The merchandise will mix iconic items with fresh, seasonal interpretations and the latest accessories.

The interior furnishings will mirror other Louis Vuitton flagships around the world, save for Israeli artwork on the walls to give it a local touch. Naturally, there will be a VIP section dedicated to rare and unusual leather goods, tucked safely behind closed doors and with an expert shop assistant at your service.

Prices will range from NIS 2,500 to NIS 15,800 for bags; NIS 10,300 to NIS 22,000 for luggage, and NIS 2,090 to NIS 3,150 for shoes.

Louis Vuitton founded his eponymous fashion house in Paris in 1854; his signature handbags and luggage have since become synonymous with old-world wealth. When designer Marc Jacobs was named LV's artistic director in 1997, the label rapidly expanded its international operations, moving into ready-to-wear fashion lines, shoes, accessories, watches, glasses and jewelry, all sold through a network of 463 stores spread around the globe.

The brand, named the world's most valuable for an eighth year in a row, is now part of the world's largest luxury brand empire, Paris-based LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton. Under that golden umbrella is a number of other well-known fashion labels, such as Christian Dior, Givenchy, Fendi and Celine. The conglomerate, estimated to be worth $22.7 billion in 2013 (according to Millward Brown Optimor’s 2012 BrandZ study, down 12 percent from 2012), is run by Bernard Arnault, the wealthiest person in France.

Louis Vuitton has run a small boutique shop in Kikar Hamedina in Tel Aviv for the past 12 years. The store, which sold mostly bags, recently closed.

Four years ago, Louis Vuitton added Tel Aviv to the prestigious City Guides series it publishes every year. In the guide, Tel Aviv is described as an open and stylish city, the center of gay culture and the Israeli left, still waiting for peace to come with its neighbors.

Though the arrival of the flagship may not contribute to the latter issues, at the very least, Tel Aviv is about to become a bit more stylish.

Itai Sikolsky