TRUNK SHOW: Claridge’s is preparing for Christmas on the road with Louis Vuitton this year, tapping the French brand to create the annual tree for the hotel lobby. This year’s theme will be the “art of travel” and Louis Vuitton will unveil its design on Nov. 23.
Claridge’s general manager Paul Jackson said it was an honor to welcome “such a legendary house to design our Christmas tree this year. Christmas is the most magical time of year for us here at the hotel and we look forward to seeing guests and visitors immerse themselves in Louis Vuitton’s world.”
The hotel and the brand have much in common. Both were founded in 1854, and had strong ties to Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III. Monsieur Louis Vuitton was the personal “layetier” to the Empress, the man responsible for creating her arsenal of luggage, and packing the bags.
The French royal made Claridge’s her winter residence, and she received so many visits from Queen Victoria that the hotel came to be known as the “annex” to Buckingham Palace.
Mons. Vuitton would have packed the Empress’s trunks himself for her Claridge’s stays, according to the company.
Louis Vuitton’s first London store opened in 1885 around the corner from Claridge’s, and its signature trunks have crossed the Mayfair hotel’s threshold thousands of times over the past century.
This is the 13th year that Claridge’s has invited a top fashion house or designer to reinterpret the tree in its own distinctive style.
Last year, Jimmy Choo’s creative director Sandra Choi designed the festive tree, which she called The Diamond, a nod to the brand’s twinkling accessories. It was finished with a bow at the top, a motif that ran through the brand’s winter 2022 collection.
In 2021, the hotel invited Dior’s Kim Jones to design the tree, and he paid tribute to craftsmanship and couture. The tree was unveiled shortly before Jones staged his men’s pre-fall fashion show in the British capital.
Named “The Celestial Snow Globe,” the tree featured holographic projections and white toile meant to recall the couturier’s studio.
In the past, Claridge’s has tapped designers including Christian Louboutin, Christopher Bailey, Karl Lagerfeld and Diane von Furstenberg to deck the halls.