Everyone wants a piece of Louis Vuitton but there’s so much to the luxury power house beyond it’s iconic leather goods. Like it’s artist collars over the years. Here’s a look at some of the hits and misses.
Louis Vuitton’s promiscuous love affairs with artists has always been explosive. Boasting of a string of collaborations with cult artists over the years, for product lines, capsule collections and even store design, Louis Vuitton has refreshed it’s offerings and given some cult products. The latest celebrated artist to join hands with the brand is Jeff Koons for a complete new take on their staple bags. Love them or hate them, LV’s edgy art collabs have always raised a storm and as the Jeff Koons X LV line picks up steam we take you through the edgiest and most successful of LV’s cult art connections.
JEFF KOONS X LOUIS VUITTON- ‘Masters’ goes bust!
‘Controversial’, ‘iconic’, ‘taboo-busting rebel’, ‘Warhol of our times’, Jeff Koons is all this and more. Most known for his infamous balloon animal series of installations, Koons is the latest cult artist to join Louis Vuitton for a collaboration. The line of bags is called Masters where Koons adorns signature LV bags and accessories like Speedy, Neverfull and the Keepall wallets among others with 5 classic paintings by master Renaissance artists Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Peter Paul Rubens, Titian and Jean-Honoré Fragonard. And it seems not many are moved by this lesson in art history! Nothing radical about a Monalisa on a Speedy if you ask us. Even the artist name is embossed loud and clear on the bags lest someone wonders who you’re wearing! Now the Fragonard one is certainly explosive for the choice of the painting- a controversial painting of its time showing a young girl in bed ‘playing’ with a dog. But the collab has left uninspired for sure. The scoop though is how Koons has been ‘allowed’ to twist the ‘never mess with me’ LV monogram to add his own initials to it! The “Masters” collection is now available for purchase, ranging from approximately $585 USD to $4,000 USD. See the full Jeff Koons X LV Masters collection.
TAKASHI MURAKAMI X LOUIS VUITTON- Master of all collabs!
The most famous, successful and loved partnerships of all times that lasted a sensational 13 years! Takashi Murakami X LV is one if the best examples of a commercially hit collaboration that became Art Couture. When Marc Jacobs engaged Takashi in 2003 to re-design the entire accessories line of Louis Vuitton, little did he know the collaboration would go on to produce a spate of iconic ‘It-Bags’ of the 2000’s – starting with the white Multicolore Monogram. Sure Paris Hilton & Mean Girls had a lot to do with it, but the runway success of the accessories paved way for further collections- Cerises, Cherry Blossom, Monogramoflague. Quirky and playful just like his art, these collections bear Takashi’s signature style of blending new age Manga characters and motifs with traditional Japanese prints. Who can forget the pop makeover of LV’s holy monogram under Takashi and of course the Cherry Blossom collection was a sakura dream that became arm candy! See all Takashi Murakami X LV collections.
STEPHEN SPROUSE X LOUIS VUITTON- Mastering streets back in 2001!
Everyone’s going streets and SUPREME X LV raised the crescendo even more. But LV had it covered way back in 2001 when Marc Jacob’s brought in punk artist Stephen Sprouse to ‘deface’ Louis Vuitton’s iconic monogram. Spring 2001 was a milestone in LV’s history which till now had never tampered with it’s holy grail- the monogram. But Stephen’s neon graffiti style Louis Vuitton splashed all over the totes was radical and totally New York street chic. And commercially hit too- sold out in some places within hours! LV even revived the line in 2008 after Stephen’s passing away, borrowing his signature neon roses apart from graffiti and extending the line to RTW, scarves and wallets. Fine we remember it more for hunky Marc Jacobs posing nude with the holdall! But this collection has become a collector’s item since and certainly one of the most risqué ones from the brand. Whoever thought LV could go rad! See the full Stephen Sprouse X LV collection.
CINDY SHERMAN X LOUIS VUITTON- Master of Monogram
Circa 2014, to celebrate 160 years of the mighty House of Louis Vuitton, six creative legends of the world were given a free hand over the monogram to create inspired pieces in their styles. Called the Iconoclasts Collection it featured pieces by Karl Lagerfeld, Rei Kawakubo, Marc Newsom, Cindy Sherman, Frank Gehry, and Christian Louboutin. We’re picking photographer + filmmaker Cindy Sherman because her messenger bag had us hopelessly in love! Her vintage travel stickers from imaginary destinations on the LV canvas are whimsical, poetic and pop all rolled into one. Cindy even put a little bit of her pet parrot Mister Frieda in the trunks that opened into multi-coloured drawers. Your best travel fantasises are made of this stuff! See the full Cindy Sherman X LV collection.
YAYOI KUSAMA X LOUIS VUITTON- Master of the Polka Dot
The most exhaustive of artist collaborations by any fashion or luxury house to date! It featured not only accessories(sunglasses and beach towels included!) and RTW but even had LV store fronts looking like a surreal polka dot fantasy come to life! Cult artist Yayoi Kusama has always delved in repeated patterns and polka dots are the most recurrent motif in her work- even her personal wheel chair is polka dots covered! The collection had her signature polka dots and the nerves pattern on their products and Kusama even personally designed the window displays for iconic store fronts like Selfridges, LV Bond Street store among others. The ‘spotified’ LV was certainly not for the faint hearted but Kusama’s ‘Love Forever’ message certainly struck a chord. See the full Yayoi Kusama X LV Forever Love collection.
Which is your favourite collab? Our vote goes to Takashi Murakami and Jeff Koons should stick to inflated animal balloons!