Louis Vuitton Sewelô

Louis Vuitton announces its participation together with Lucara Diamond Corporation and the HB Company of Antwerp, in a unique collaboration to transform a rare and exceptional diamond specimen, a 1758 carat diamond, the second largest rough diamond ever discovered.

April 19th, 2019 will go down as a history-making moment in the long story of the divine diamond: the day when the monumental 1758 carat rough diamond, now named Sewelô, meaning Rare Find in the Setswana language, was recovered at the Lucara Diamond Corp.’s 100% owned Karowe mine, Botswana. It is the second largest rough diamond ever discovered and the largest to come out of Botswana.

Roughly the size of a tennis ball, measuring 83mm x 62mm x 46mm, weighing 352 grams, the Sewelô is the second largest rough gem diamond in recorded history, eclipsed only by the Cullinan, at 3106 carats, discovered in South Africa in 1905, and fashioned into historic diamonds that are now in the British Crown Jewels and royal collection. The Sewelô is also the largest, exceptional rough diamond to be recovered from Lucara’s state-of-the-art Karowe mine in Botswana.

Remarkably, the diamond remained unbroken thanks to Lucara’s high-tech XRT circuit, a highly advanced recovery process that avoids crushing the diamond-bearing rock, a drawback of previous processes. Initial analysis of the Sewelô characterises the stone as ‘near gem quality’ with ‘domains of high-quality white gem’, while detailed studies of the stone, its composition, qualities and potential will continue for several months.

The Sewelô is spectacular not only for its immense size but also for its intriguing characteristics
of shape, colour, formation and composition. The rough crystal is largely covered in a very thin layer of black carbon, enveloping yet hinting at the 2 billion-year-old secrets hidden within; the full extent of variations in colour and clarity of the diamond yield is still unknown. This was exactly the kind of extreme rarity, unconventional and challenging, to appeal to Louis Vuitton’s sense of adventure and creativity: an extraordinary, idiosyncratic diamond specimen, a wondrous miracle of Mother Nature, mesmerizingly mysterious, with its contradictions of darkness and light, and hidden depths of beauty and lustre, waiting for the right expertise and sensibility to be revealed to the world.

Karowe, meaning ‘precious stone’, is Lucara’s 100% owned diamond mine that is situated on the northern fringes of the Kalahari Desert and came on stream in 2012. It is renowned for the quality and size of the diamonds it produces, specifically superlative Type IIA diamonds – chemically pure, and with exceptional limpidity – of over 10 carats. These have included the 1109 carat Lesedi La Rona, and the 813 carat Constellation.

Karowe uses the most advanced processing technology in the world, and puts corporate and social responsibility, sustainability and the safety and welfare of its workers, at the heart of the business. Boasting a workforce which is 98% comprised of Botswanan nationals, the huge success of the mine has brought great economic and social benefits to local communities. Lucara is committed
to ensuring the Sewelô has a positive, lasting impact on Botswana. As part of this mission, when the astonishing 1758 carat rough diamond was discovered last year, the mine invited the people of Botswana to submit ideas for a name. The winning submission, Sewelô, or Rare Find, one of 22,000 entries, was announced and the stone officially named at a gala event last summer in the presence of the President of the Republic of Botswana.

Louis Vuitton is working closely with master diamond cutters, HB Company, from Antwerp, studying the Sewelô in minute detail, using the very latest scanning and imaging technology to assess the final potential of the stone, and plan the optimum yield of individual finished, cut and polished diamonds. The first step is to open a window onto the stone, in order to gain visibility into the heart of the Sewelô, and plot various permutations of size, colour and shape. Diamond-cutting is an age-old, near-mystical blend of art and science, expertise and intuition. Advanced, cutting-edge technology will play a crucial role in the entire process from initial scanning and planning to the cutting and polishing which is estimated to take a year to complete. The unique properties of the Sewelô, its size and black surface coating, mean that new nano-technologies have to be used in place of standard equipment. In a spirit of creative collaboration with HB Company, Louis Vuitton will be involved at every stage, ensuring that the maximum light, life and fire, character and charisma will be unleashed from the magnificent rough crystal. The size of the diamond will enable production of Made-to-Order Louis Vuitton Cut diamonds, each complex, each skillfully fashioned in the form of one of Louis Vuitton’s emblematic Monogram, the rounded flower and star-shaped motif.

Finally, in a characteristically barrier-breaking initiative of innovation and individuality, Louis Vuitton plans to use the extraordinary variety and abundance within the Sewelô to offer clients the opportunity to create bespoke, custom-cut diamonds. This industry disrupting move allows for the ultimate personalisation and exclusivity, remaining entirely in tune with Louis Vuitton’s heritage of special, made-to-order commissions. In this way, the client will be intimately involved in the entire creative process, in the life and story of an extraordinary, magnificent diamond from its source in the famous Karowe mine in Botswana, Africa, to a refined masterpiece, conceived and crafted in Paris, Place Vendôme – from the centre of the earth to the heart of High Jewellery.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Louis Vuitton

VHS & Chill

Love love love this! Let’s go back to the future this summer and get one of those amazing retro accessories from Louis Vuitton’s S/S 2020 collection. Spotted on the runway, there were bags modeled after VHS cassettes and cases.

Not sure if you are familiar with the DVD’s predecessor – VHS, I definitely am. It was all the rage when I was a kid, finally we were able to tape our favorite TV shows. My mum still has her basement filled with a gazillions of this tapes. Quiet a sentimental memory.

The Louis Vuitton S/S 2020 Video Tape Clutch with its faux magnetic tape strip is my favorite and will range around €4200. Obviously Nicolas Ghesquière will be watching «The Backpack is Back» next season as this is written on the cassette sticker with DIY scrawl. Another quite interesting model is the matching tote bag that looks like a shelf with stacked VHS cassettes. Also a wallet will be part of the collection.

It is not the first time a VHS cassette was the style inspiration for a bag. In 2017, Forever 21, that filed for bankruptcy last year, launched a funny clutch for the price of € 25 with the sticker saying «VHS or Chill». Still, I prefer the Louis Vuitton one…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Louis Vuitton and Forever 21

My Look: Can’t Stop the Feeling

«I can’t stop the feelin’
So just dance, dance, dance
I can’t stop the feelin’
So just dance, dance, dance, come on»

Whenever I go clubbing, I prefer wearing some tight pants to be able to move easily and have all my valuables on me with the help of a small crossover bag, a phone holder around my neck and this fantastic lipstick case.

My look: Short sleeved pullover with frills, leggings with monogram elastic belt, vintage long coat with gold piping and leopard collar (Look 14 from the F/W 2005 collection), Petite Malle bag in Monogram Canvas, lipstick case, Louise phone holder, all by Louis Vuitton, and Kangaroo wrap around bow tie lace high heel boots in black (F/W 2016) by CHANEL.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

The Most Exceptional Jewelry Boxes

Today I would like to show you the most exceptional jewelry boxesicon for the connoisseur in your life this Christmas. If you like to collect jewelry, it is also important where you keep it. Security aside, beloved treasures deserve a home as beautiful as they are… and below are some very sophisticated choices to choose from!

LoL, Sandra

Facettes Jewelry Box by Hermès

Beauvais velvet jewellery box by Aerinicon

Grosvenor leather jewelry box by Smythson
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Flora print jewelry box by Gucciicon

Studded leather-trimmed striped jacquard jewelry boxicon by Fendi

Monogram Canvas Jewelry Box by Louis Vuitton

Mara printed croc-effect leather jewelry box by Smythson

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Botanical Heirloom Jewelry Boxicon by Jenny McCormack (comes with the jewelry)

Photos: Courtesy of the Brands

Louis Vuitton x League of Legends Collection

In September, I introduced you to the collaboration between Louis Vuitton and League of Legends, most-played PC game in the world (for the previous post, click here please). Now the french Maison is launching a capsule collection in partnership with Riot Games.

Designed by Nicolas Ghesquière, Louis Vuitton’s Artistic Director of Women’s Collections, this unprecedented capsule features unique and original references true to the universes of League of Legends and Ghesquière’s personal inspirations. This collection follows the special Prestige skins he previously created for Qiyana (already revealed) and for Senna (to be revealed in January 2020).

The collection showcases a unique Monogram Louis Vuitton x League of Legends canvas, revisited across some of the House’s iconic and New Classics bags including the Neverfull, the Speedy or the Boite Chapeau Souple and a Bumbag among other styles.

The Collection also features a new Louis Vuitton signature inspired by emblematic League of Legends character Qiyana’s ring blade, as first discovered on her Prestige Louis Vuitton skin.

This transversal capsule collection is completed by ready-to-wear composed of technical materials like scuba jersey, accessories, as well as iconic Louis Vuitton shoe styles such as the famous Louis Vuitton Archlight sneakers, the Star trail boots and the most recent Beaubourg platform derby shoes.

The Louis Vuitton x League of Legends capsule collection will be available for pre-orders on Louisvuitton.com on a selection of e-commerce platforms worldwide from today, December 9th 2019.

So much going on at Vuitton, but loving it all…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton Trunk and Sneaker Box

Unveiled at Atelier Louis Vuitton in Miami Design District, the hardsided Sneaker Trunk and Sneaker Box, in contemporary Monogram Eclipse canvas, join Louis Vuitton’s Trunk universe and promptly establish themselves as a sneakerhead’s essentials.

Inspired by the iconic Wardrobe Trunk, the Sneaker Trunk is designed to display a large collection of footwear. Impressive double doors open up to eight drawers for high-top sneakers and six drawers for low-top sneakers. Playful in execution, two mirrors have been specifically designed and added to the base of the trunk to admire pairs while trying them on. The Sneaker Trunk’s drawers and Sneaker Box’s walls give way to Monogram doors, revisited in a transparent allure, allowing one’s sneakers to remain on full display. In the Sneaker Box, shoes are placed atop a delicate slope, all the while tucked away in their special case.

The sky’s the limit!
Stackable, the transparent door of the Sneaker Box can be opened from the front allowing boxes to be piled on top of one another, as high as you can dream. The magnetic slope on the Sneaker Box hides two secret drawers, homes to shoe care products and other essential accessories. On the Sneaker Trunk, seven visible drawers home all shoe care products and other necessities.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton Design Miami 2019

Tuesday marked the preview of the Louis Vuitton Objets Nomades booth at Design Miami, where new designer Andrew Kudless presented the Swell Wave, his first Objet Nomade.

Louis Vuitton Objets Nomades is an ever-expanding collection of limited, collectible furniture inspired by the House’s DNA and by reinterpretations of its travel spirit.

Pieces from the collection have been imagined by some of today’s most creative designers: Patricia Urquiola, India Mahdavi, Atelier Oï, Atelier Biagetti, Barber and Osgerby, Fernando and Humberto Campana, Damien Langlois-Meurinne, Raw Edges, Zanellato/Bortotto, Marcel Wanders, Tokujin Yoshioka, Nendo, André Fu, and Andrew Kudless.

Louis Vuitton’s new pieces are presented inside the fair. You can discover the Maison’s savoir-faire until December 8, 2019 at Paradise Plaza, Miami Design District (by appointment only).

LoL, Sandra

Photo credit: Joe Schildhorn/BFA

Louis Vuitton Leather Goods Campaign

Louis Vuitton presents the second wave of its leather goods campaign, dedicated to the House’s «New Classics» bags as presented by actresses Alicia Vikander and Léa Seydoux (for the first campaign launch, click here for the previous post). Against the bright blue of a Californian sky, Craig McDean photographs these strong, graceful women and their Louis Vuitton bags.

Alicia Vikander carries the Capucines and Twist designs, while Léa Seydoux opts for the Dauphine and Capucines. The print campaign styled by Marie-Amélie Sauvé will feature in international magazines starting October, alongside a series of short digital films.

LoL, Sandra

Alicia Vicander with the Capucines bag in cream.

My favorite: Alicia Vicander with the Capucines bag in baby blue.

Alicia Vicander with another classic, the Twist bag.

Léa Seydoux and her Capucines choice in black.

Another great choice: Léa Seydoux opts for the Dauphine bag.

© Photographer: Craig McDean
Fashion: Marie-Amélie Sauvé

Louis Vuitton x League of Legends

Even though I might seem stupid for some of you, I must confess that I had no idea what League of Legends is when I received the press release from Louis Vuitton. Therefore let me give you a quick introduction: It is an online multiplayer game and global phenomenon, that since its launch in 2009 has grown to become the most-played PC game in the world and a key driver in the explosive growth of esports.

Every year, Riot Games, the U.S.-based esports organization behind League of Legends, organizes the League of Legends World Championship for the planet’s best players and teams, which this year begins on October 2nd in Berlin for play-ins and group stages, continues in Madrid starting October 26th for the quarterfinals and semi-finals, and culminates with the final in Paris on November 10th.

For the event, Louis Vuitton is creating, in collaboration with Riot, an unprecedented, one-of-a-kind Trophy Travel Case to hold the Summoner’s Cup, the trophy awarded to the world champions and considered the most prestigious prize in esports. The winner also gets millions in cash.
The bespoke trunk, the first of its kind for an esports championship, will feature both some traditional Louis Vuitton savoir-faire along with cutting-edge, high-tech elements inspired by the League of Legends universe.

Louis Vuitton and Riot Games will also soon announce unique champion skins and a capsule collection designed by Nicolas Ghesquière, Louis Vuitton’s Artistic Director of Women’s collections, along with other League of Legend digital assets.

Personally speaking, I find it impressive that the famed fashion house will design League-themed items for both in the game and in the real world. Fashion is becoming more tightly connected to gaming and e-sports. Who would have ever imagined this?

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Vuitton

New Tambour Horizon LV Neon Watch Faces

Inspired by the season’s colorful store windows, Louis Vuitton launches new digital watch faces for the connected Tambour Horizon watch.

Neon and electric, the Monogram flowers and Louis Vuitton initials pop as if glowing in the dark. You can choose from the four new designs to give an entirely new and eye-catching look to your Tambour Horizon Connected Watch.

In addition to the new neon designs, the Tambour Horizon connected watch includes a travel feature with flight, hotel and transportation information, «My 24 hours» with weather, daily agenda and step counter, along with access to LV’s City Guide and exclusive customizable watch faces to truly tailor the timepiece to your own needs.

The «LV Neon» faces can be added to any Tambour Horizon watch through the Play Store now.

LoL, Sandra

Stills: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton, Collages: © Sandra Bauknecht