Fashion house taps into venerable Rome school

ROME — Gallic fashion house Louis Vuitton is forging ties with Italy’s film community by teaming up with the country’s oldest film school, while also opening a flagship shop in a former Roman cinema.

Vuitton has inked a three-year partnership with Rome’s venerable Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, comprised of sponsoring scholarships for low income students, tutoring and offering costume design workshops centered around late 17th century styles, to be held by noted Italo costume designer Piero Tosi (“The Leopard”).

Concurrently, the sprawling new Louis Vuitton Maison designed by architect Peter Marino opened Jan. 27 with a posh gala in central Rome’s disused Etoile movie theater, occupying three floors, with a staircase sporting a filmstrip motif and a 19-seat screening room. The first pic to unspool at the Maison was docu “Handmade Cinema,” directed by Guido Torlonia and narrated by Chiara Mastroianni. The pic focuses on the craftsmen at Rome’s Cinecitta Studios.

Mastroiannni, her mom Catherine Deneuve, Cate Blanchett and Luca Guadagnino were among guests at the gala.

“We are embarking on a distinctive project that combines exceptional craftsmanship, art and culture in time and space,” said Vuitton prexy Yves Carcelle.

Vuitton has longstanding ties with the global film community, starting in Gaul, where its Espace Louis Vuitton gallery commissions and screens auteur-driven shorts. And in Hollywood, the company is tight with Francophile filmmakers Wes Anderson and Sofia Coppola, among others. Recently Vuitton created a trunk for carrying movie film cans, in honor of foreign Oscar-nommed Lebanese helmer Nadine Labaki (“Where Do We Go Now?”).

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