Fashion house Louis Vuitton has showcased L-Acoustics’ Syva speakers for two events at the Louvre this year alongside its catwalk creations.
Audio company De Préférence, long-time collaborators with the label, were briefed with finding an audio system for Paris Fashion Week in March that was both aesthetically pleasing and could provide sound in the art gallery’s reverberant setting.
“Each time the Vuitton team does a show, they want something different,” said De Préférence’s Alain Français. “But one thing is always the same – they never want to see the loudspeakers! This means I’m always looking for new equipment and new ways of hiding the cabinets.”
De Préférence used 22 loudspeakers from the Syva range across three levels in the Louvre's Cour Marly hall to combat potentially tricky sound issues.
Français said: “For this show, taking place in an exceptional space with so much history and impact, we considered and tested a lot of different options. Trying to find a solution that could cope with that, deliver the right amount of SPL, have the right tonal range and be invisible was proving difficult, particularly as there really is nowhere to hide large subs in the room.
Français and L-Acoustics’ director of fixed installation application Cédric Montrézor demonstrated the Syva speakers to the Vuitton team, who were convinced by the sound, and impressed with the look, meaning there was no need to disguise the speakers in the venue. Some of the speakers were dotted along the catwalk to ensure even coverage.
“Normally we wouldn’t use 22 loudspeakers to do this kind of room,” said Français. “Six would be sufficient, but by upping the speaker count we didn’t need to push the system too hard, allowing us to handily cope with the room’s reverberation.”
“As soon as I saw Syva, with its remarkably fluid form, I suspected this might be a good solution and as soon as I heard it, I knew it was right for this project,” he continued.
After a successful fashion week show, the Vuitton team requested Syva loudspeakers for a Jeff Koons handbag launch event in April, in the hall where the Mona Lisa hangs – the first event of its kind at the Louvre.
“This was the first time the Louvre had allowed such an event, so it was a very big deal,” recalled Français. “We used Syva again, but this time just two cabinets and for speech only. The Vuitton team was pleasantly surprised that we were able to cover the entire massive room with just two loudspeakers and they were really impressed with the results.”