Louis Vuitton's Eye-Popping Launch

July 1, 2002, 12:00 AM EDT

Louis Vuitton watch launch Eyebeam Atelier Monday, 06.24.02, 4 PM to 7 PM
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Luxury goods companies like to make a splash with events—the recent Dunhill store launch and the Aston Martin auto week party come to mind—and Louis Vuitton is no exception. The company showcased an eye-poppingly inventive product display that combined LV products with visual illusion tricks as part of a launch event for its new line of watches at Eyebeam Atelier.

Created by French magician Gerard Majax, the traveling product display required guests to don headgear that held two mirrors below their eyes perpendicular to the face. Guests then walked through a U-shaped room constructed for the event, where gigantic watch cogs, Persian rugs and LV products like purses and luggage were suspended upside-down from the ceiling. The mirrored headgear created the illusion that the objects were floating right-side up and directly ahead as guests were guided through the room by a waist-level hand rail. Mystical mood music that boomed in the background added to the fabulously surreal experience.

An adjacent room had a rich red environment with quilted walls and ceilings and low bench seats, and the watches were displayed in clear boxes with overhead lights suspended from the ceiling.

The rest of the space was turned into a chic lounge by Antony Todd. Combining his elegant decor elements from last year's Henry Street Settlement benefit and this year's Save Venice ball, the room was furnished with clean, stark white square seats and clear shallow trays filled with water, floating candles and white flowers. Three of Todd's three-tiered Lucite floating candle displays topped the bar.

To add small splashes of color to the all-white space, caterer Olivier Cheng used thick sheets of clear Lucite topped with bright flowers and eye-catching food like roast beef with lemon confit wrapped in a bright green arugula leaves and rich orange gazpacho soup shots.

Suzanne Ito

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