Since opening in 1909, Selfridges has gone through many changes, but its reputation as a high quality department store has been unshakeable, consequently exclusive products have pride of place here. Louis Vuitton is one such brand. Vanda Coatings were called in for security shutter painting for Louis Vuitton in Selfridges, Oxford Street, London when this luxury label was extending into a new Townhouse within the outlet.
When Harry Gordon Selfridge opened the department store Selfridges, he wanted shopping to be a pleasurable activity for the customer with an openness of products and attention to detail in displays and window dressing. The shopper was always at the centre of retail decisions and Harry Selfridge is credited for the phrase ‘the customer is always right’. His approach to retail has been immortalised by the TV series made in 2013 and its success (like the store itself) looks set to continue.
The Louis Vuitton brand was established in 1854 in Paris and the talented creator of hand-made leather goods transformed the design of luggage in 1858 with flat, stackable trunks. Over the years this illustrious label has come to represent luxury and the prestigious LV monogram is one of the most valuable brands in the world.
Because both Louis Vuitton and Selfridges are so prestigious the SOPs (standard operational procedures) were very stringent when it came to painting the metalwork. This was not an issue for our team as our own standards are extremely high and we always adhere to regulations stipulated by contractors.
Understandably, security was very tight, so all staff were CRB checked and signing in and out was closely monitored. Because the products themselves are valuable, when Selfridges is shut the Louis Vuitton section is closed off from Oxford Street by a security roller shutter and beyond this protection is a shop front window with a metal frame. Vanda Coatings were asked to recoat both the roller shutter and the large window frame.
Effectively masking up in order to protect surroundings from overspray is always a priority for Vanda Coatings and our work for Louis Vuitton in Selfridges was no exception. At this stage of the refurbishment stock was not on display of course, but the finishes, fixtures and fittings were of the highest quality and even a spot of paint on them would have been disastrous. The design incorporated ionic columns with an exquisitely tiled floor and a glass lift. It goes without saying that protection was everything and perfect masking was crucial.
Even though our Vanda teams are very experienced in working alongside other trades, in this instance our operatives worked alone. This was because it was deemed too risky for carpenters or fitters to be working as any dust could have got into the paint and ruined the perfectly sleek finish that was required. The original dark bronze layer on the roller shutter was far from sleek (bottom photo) as it had been coated in the old fashioned way. It had been hand painted using an oil based paint which was peeling and flaking off, so the surface was rubbed down and flattened using a hand held orbital sander with paper ranging from 80 grit to the finer 180. A quick drying, single pack bar coat was spray applied followed by high build primer and then top coats of the unique bronze finish.
The contractor was pleased with our security shutter painting for Louis Vuitton in Selfridges, Oxford Street, London. After the work had been checked over and signed off Vanda Coatings were asked to carry out more painting of architectural metalwork within Selfridges. The Louis Vuitton Townhouse does indeed look beautiful.