For well over a century, Louis Vuitton’s trunks have served as a symbol not only of wealth but also of a lifestyle cultivated by that wealth. While it’s true that with enough cash to spare, you could walk into any Vuitton flagship in the world and order one of nearly any size and configuration, sometimes you want something with a little patina and a sense of history. The Sofitel New York in New York City is tapping into that desire with a new “Christmas tree” display in its lobby made from a stack of vintage Louis Vuitton chests.
The tower of luxurious luggage––composed of 15 individual pieces––is neatly arranged to mimic the familiar conical silhouette of an evergreen tree. Conceived and designed by The Well Traveled Trunk, a company dedicated to sourcing vintage pieces, it manages to balance a sense of whimsy perfect for the holidays and drop-dead luxury that’s sure to get well-heeled people opening their wallets.
Founded by Alexandre Soleyman, The Well Traveled Trunk curates a selection of rare Louis Vuitton, Goyard and Hermès models that Soleyman acquires from around the world, often at auctions and special flea markets, but also from individuals, according to an interview with Forbes. “People come to the USA to sell a piece they found in their attic––or got from their grandmother,” he said.
Originally from Geneva, Switzerland, Soleyman studied hotel and business management in college before decamping to New York City. He developed a love of old trunks early on after a childhood visit to a French antique shop bursting with vintage Vuitton. Today, Soleyman is insistent that every article he procures be over 100 years old. Most of his buyers end up paying somewhere between $10,000 and $15,000 for their piece of travel of history. Though the company is only three years old, it has quickly earned its spot as a resource for those looking for this category of exceedingly scarce accessory.
It seems that this project not only presents a fanciful installation sure to pique the interest of Sofitel’s many guests but a fortuitous merger of Soleyman’s formal studies and archival passions. It doesn’t get much better.