Louis Vuitton, pioneer in the art of travel, has partnered with BMW to create a tailor-made set of luggage crafted in carbon fibre for the newly launched BMW i8. But the iconic luxury brand has a long history with travel as in the 19th century its trunks were personalised for clients. Later, they were revolutionised through the introduction of its secure system of luggage locks which is still used today.
Now through its store manager, Valentina Ranadipura, there’s also link to Formula 1. She was born in Monza, the home of the Italian Grand Prix and as a baby she got accustomed to the roar of the engines. It was magic experience sitting with the family throughout her youth and cheering on the Ferrari team.
“Later, as an adult I got hooked on the event and would arrive three days before for the race preparation,”said Valentina, a charming, friendly and bright woman.”There, I would meet all the team and I got to know what it was like to sit in a F1 racer.”
She studied marketing and languages in Milan Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. Her appreciation of art and architecture was stimulated while in Milan, particularly by the impressive Gothic cathedral. From the pink-hued white marble to the famous Madonnina, the gold-coloured statue of Mary that stands on the cathedral’s highest spire, it was a great inspiration.
“What I enjoyed most was seeing the cathedral in different light,”she said,”On sunny days, it’s the lightest place in the world. Then on grey days, its dark and threatening. But most of all I like the materials selected. The use of glass enhances the feeling of space.”
While Valentina was studying, she worked part-time at Louis Vuitton. It was exhilarating experience because the staff were truly international and she fitted in immediately. She herself is cosmopolitan with a Swiss Mother and an Indonesian father. She has worked her way up in the company from sales assistant in 2006 through store trainer, field coach trainer in Milan and Vienna and finally after 14 years she was promoted to store manager in Gstaad.
In the ultra-chic resort of Gstaad with its cosmopolitan residents and visitors, Louis Vuitton provides the perfect ambiance for high-end luxury fashion. And there’s no better person suited to welcome’ the international clients than Valentina and her team.