The long queues in front of leading luxury stores in Paris this weekend might suggest they were holding the high-end equivalent of a Black Friday sale.
But the crowds gathered outside Dior headquarters on Avenue Montaigne, the Guerlain flagship on Avenue des Champs-Elysées or the Chaumet salons on Place Vendôme weren’t looking to part with any cash just to catch a glimpse behind the scenes of some of the 70 brands that form LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
The event is the brainchild of Antoine Arnault, head of communication and image of LVMH, who launched the biennial initiative in 2011 to counter a perception that the group was only interested in making money.
Antoine Arnault launched the event with a cocktail party on Thursday at the group’s headquarters in front of the new building “the Good Samaritan” where he posed with his father the lord of Luxury, LVMH chairman and chief executive officer Bernard the Great.
Inside, senior executives including group managing director Antonio Belloni, human resources director Chantal Gaemperle and Sidney Toledano, chairman and ceo of LVMH Fashion Group, mingled with participants over Champagne and canapés.
Arnault watched an artisan demonstrating how perfume bottles are sealed with gold thread. Soon, it was on to the next destination: the Chaumet headquarters on Place Vendôme, where he paused to snap a picture on his cell phone of the crowd beginning to gather on the historic square that is home to France’s leading jewelers.