By Erin Letson Posted October 8, 2008, 5:34 PM EDT
For the past two weeks, the exterior of the Holt Renfrew store on Bloor Street has paid tribute to Louis Vuitton, with one of the retailer's iconic accessory patterns covering the building's facade. On Tuesday night, the tribute continued as 100 guests dined in the department store's shoe section, which showcased memorabilia, special-edition items, and vintage photos from the French brand.
The event, hosted by Holt Renfrew president Caryn Lerner and Louis Vuitton North America C.E.O. Daniel Lalonde, celebrated the renovations of five Louis Vuitton boutiques across Canada; the last was completed in Edmonton three weeks ago. “At the end of this huge effort we put into the renovations, we thought it would be a good moment to bring out our best customers to celebrate the new stores and the heritage of both companies,” said Charles Delapalme, vice president of stores for Louis Vuitton North America.
McNabb Roick Events handled the decor for the evening, which included custom-made lampshade centerpieces covered with the Louis Vuitton heritage design (also found in the front window display). Black-and-white photos of Vuitton lined the entrance to the cocktail reception—which took place in the brand's main-level boutique—and adorned three long dining tables upstairs.
Louis Vuitton supplied vintage suitcases, monogrammed napkins and glasses, and a piano cover flown in from Paris—featured for the first and only other time at a January show debuting the Damier Graphite line of men's accessories. “We wanted to bring in some extraordinary pieces for our customers for this event,” said Delapalme, who noted the tower of Louis Vuitton luggage at the front of the store emulated the Eiffel Tower.
Organizers kept two key elements of the event under wraps until the dinner: a performance by pianist Stephan Moccio and the evening's chef, Michael Stadtländer of Eigensinn Farm. Stadtländer served a warm salad of heirloom tomatoes, wild mushrooms, and hemp squash ravioli, followed by roasted beef strip loin with a fall vegetable cake, an Italian plum cake with vanilla almond Armagnac ice cream, and a cheese course.
Another Louis Vuitton dinner will take place at the Holt Renfrew store in Vancouver on October 22.