Palm Springs’ Kip Serafin Brings Magical Touch to Louis Vuitton Event

Fashion giant's presence creates more interest in desert going forward

Susan Stein Social Scene 0 Comments

Models walk the path around the Bob and Dolores Hope Estate in Palm Springs during the Louis Vuitton Resort 2015 collection event in May.

Even a couple of months removed, the Louis Vuitton show continues to reverberate as one of the biggest fashion events to ever hit the Greater Palm Springs area.

Palm Springs and the surrounding Coachella Valley desert will have appeared on more than 18 national and international magazines, such as Glamour, Elle, People, and The New York Times' “T” Magazine.

The show has garnered more than 2.5 billion impressions online and in the media, and many of the guests who had never been here previously cannot wait to return to the desert.


The Bob and Dolores Hope Estates was transformed for the Louis Vuitton fashion show.


"The desert already hosts events for film, art, golf, tennis, foodies, music and fashion in a six-month period," says Kip Serafin. "We can provide the resources for them and have the magic to make it happen. I have already heard from major department stores and fashion brands that are showing interest and are scouting locations."

The "magic" Serafin refers to is his own doing. As the brains and owner of Locations 760 and the Kip Group, Serafin and his people provide location scouting and management for photo, film, TV, and events that need to create their “magic” for advertising and branding in the 760 area code. He was honored in June by the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce with its 2015 “Super Star” award for turning Louis Vuitton’s fantasy into a desert reality.

The event was born out of the mind of Nicolas Ghesquière, creative director for Louis Vuitton, who had visited Palm Springs and been inspired by the futuristic yet retro appeal of the Bob and Dolores Hope Estate.

Celebrities, like Catherine Deneuve and Michelle Williams, came in for the show.


In February, Serafin received a call from Campbell Bromberg, director of Global Affairs for Louis Vuitton (LVMH) indicating the design giant wanted to bring their Cruise 2016 collection to the desert. It wasn’t the usual question of “Where do you think we should have it, Kip?”, but a definitive “We want to show this collection at the Bob and Dolores Hope Estate."

Kip knew that there had been few, if any, events at the Bob Hope Estate and immediately called Patrick-Stewart Properties, the agents for the iconic Lautner designed home. He convinced them that this would be an incredible opportunity for the desert as well as great exposure for the estate, which is currently on the market. Working closely with both Patrick Jordan and Stewart Smith, Ghesquière's vision took shape.

They agreed to take the house off of the market for two weeks while the outside patio was extended and 2,500 square feet of grass was removed to make room for the production. All have since been returned to its previous condition.

Louis Vuitton flew in 58 of the world's top models.


However, Serafin soon discovered the fashion event at the Hope Estate was just the tip of the iceberg. The LVMH team informed him there would be a myriad of events that required locations and management during the four-day May weekend.

Vuitton planned to privately fly in 800 guests that included the world’s best LV clients, fashion editors and media, photographers, LV executives and staff, and 58 of the world's top models. Each model was invited to bring three other people that would include their own hair-stylist, a make-up artist, as well as an agent or assistant.

In the 10 weeks following that initial phone call, Serafin worked closely with the LVMH team in Paris and successfully found and confirmed locations for the following:

• 3800 hotel room nights for the guests and a few private home rentals for celebrities and executives.

• Palm Springs Art Museum and the Frey House for a day of private tours and a luncheon

• More than 11 locations throughout the desert for fashion shoots that would be staged by Louis Vuitton and their galaxy of beautiful models. (Serafin managed and attended all of these shoots.)

• Reserving the Dinah Shore Palm Springs Estate (yes, the one now owned by Leo DiCaprio) for a private event for selected guests.

• Booking Copley’s restaurant and the Avalon Hotel for private dinners for 200.

• The after party at the Parker Palm Springs.

Since the Louis Vuitton show, Kip Serafin says "major department stores and fashion brands are showing interest and are scouting locations" in the Coachella Valley.


Most of the above was confirmed one or two weeks before the actual event. However, Serafin says many other details were solved at the last minute.

Would the sunset be perfect at the exact time of the show?
Photographers from the desert (a few from our Fashion Week El Paseo team)  and elsewhere were posted days before the show at the Hope estate during the crucial sunset time and reported the details of the lighting and shadows to the Paris team.

How do you choreograph the show without the models present?
The LVMH team and Mitie Tucker Events have it down to a science and to the second. A few weeks prior to the event, Serafin and the LVMH team worked with sheets of paper representing each model, and then the team walked in unison throughout the serpentine path that would be the runway for visual effects, lighting, and filming.

How to co-ordinate the 150 servers and staff from James Beard winner Suzanne Goin’s Lucque’s Restaurant in Los Angeles?
The entire staff had their hair and make-up done for the event, and spa treatments were made available.

"My favorite part of the experience was watching it all come together during the 4 days of the event," Serafin says.

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