Nothing signals the start of the Christmas season quite like the many twinkling trees that pop up all over London as December approaches. The most magnificent – and hotly anticipated – is arguably the tree at Claridge’s, the legendary Mayfair hotel, which has been designed by a different, distinguished fashion house or designer every year for over a decade.
Seasons past have seen Jimmy Choo, Dior, Christian Louboutin and Karl Lagerfeld all reinterpret the Claridge’s Christmas tree in their own distinctive style. This year, Claridge’s has announced that the tree will be designed by Louis Vuitton, a long-time friend of the hotel. Unveiled on the 23 November, the tree will be inspired by the art of travel – a theme which unites both the fashion house and the hotel.
Claridge’s and Louis Vuitton have a longstanding history – both, in fact, were founded in 1854. The 1850s saw Monsieur Louis Vuitton himself appointed as the personal layetier (in other words, professional suitcase packer) to Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III. The empress made Claridge’s her winter residence, and it was Louis Vuitton himself who would have packed her trunks for her stays.
The French maison’s first London store opened several decades later in 1885, around the corner from Claridge’s. Ever since, the legendary Louis Vuitton trunk has been toted by thousands of guests who choose to stay at the Mayfair hotel, and Louis Vuitton luggage has maintained its reputation as a symbol of jet-set luxury. The brand’s cases have been spotted travelling with some of the world’s most fashionable people, including Coco Chanel, Audrey Hepburn and Lauren Bacall, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (who were great party-throwers and travelled with a wardrobe trunk). Contemporary fashion icons have kept the tradition alive, with everyone from Rihanna to the Hadids owning classic LV luggage.
It’s perhaps unsurprising that these two premium brands have joined forces given their centuries-old relationship, not to mention their modern-day appeal: Louis Vuitton recently became the first luxury brand to surpass £17 billion in sales, while Claridge’s completed an £800m renovation last year, which included building its first spa (now one of the most sought-after in London).
“What an honour it is to welcome such a house as Louis Vuitton to design our Claridge’s Christmas Tree this year,” said Claridge’s general manager, Paul Jackson. “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 tree is just one of the festive events soon to come to the capital. Make sure you fill your diary with our edit of pop-ups, collaborations and new openings in the run-up to Christmas this year, to ensure you don’t miss the best seasonal celebrations.
Source : HarpersBazaar