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Since 1896, Louis Vuitton and its legendary gold monogram have been synonymous with luxury and timeless elegance. But while the line is best known for its durable, supple brown leather travel pieces, accessories and handbags, as well as the more colorful, artist-designed seasonal must-haves, one look inside the designer's flagship store, on 57th Street at Fifth Avenue—the largest in the world—reminds shoppers that Vuitton's style goes far beyond its carry-alls. Within the illuminated blue, white, purple and gold translucent glass walls are four floors—over 20,000 square feet—of classic men's and women's ready-to-wear, modern timepieces and jewelry, and uptown-chic footwear. Past the towering wooden grids that showcase the famed handbags lie the relaxed suits and ultra-feminine knee-length skirts that typify Vuitton's polished look, punctuated by bright colors and soft accents for a swank mix of tradition and modernity; this familiar style is echoed throughout Vuitton's designs, from the monogrammed canvas belts to the red ostrich-leather wrist watches. Black-suited sales associates are attentive, without being overbearing.
Louis Vuitton and its creative director, Marc Jacobs, created a one-of-a-kind engagement ring: a D-color, three-carat, ring of VVS clarity (yes, the utmost). If you simply must have it, but another ambitious fiancé has beaten you to the punch, you'll have to special-order it (allow up to four months). You'll also find jewelry from the Emprise collection, such as the large 140-carat cocktail rings shot in Vuitton's ad campaign (in amethyst, smoky quartz, lemon citrine, and aquamarine).