Louis Vuitton and Art (Part 2)
Without a doubt, Louis Vuitton knows no geographic boundaries. Its fans are men and women that travel the world, always in the company of their Louis Vuitton bags.
Following its wellknown tradition of sponsor collaborations with prestigious artists worldwide, today we will talk about two Japanese artists that have collaborated with their talents to the firm’s avant-garde concept. In the same way that last time we presented collaborations from the West, today we will travel to the East.
Takashi Murakami
Called the Japanese Andy Warhol, Takashi Murakami closed his 13-year cycle of successful collaborations with Louis Vuitton, that began with Marc Jacobs, Director of the firm until Nicolas Ghisquière took over. Together, Murakami and Jacobs reunited East and West, displaying Murakami´s aesthetics and integrating it to Vuitton’s traditional excellence. Together, they pioneered the lucrative relationship model between fashion and art, a concept that is now de rigueur among the most prestigious firms in the world.
Under Jacobs´s innovative spirit, Murakami added a breath of fresh look to the firm’s traditional image, reorganizing the Monogram logo and turning Louis Vuitton bags into a kawaii dream. His palette of brilliant colors represent the joyful style Murakami designed for the Cherry Blossom and Multicolore collections. But he also added conceptual depth to his Character and Monocamouflage collections.
Ghisquière decided to discontinue Multicolore, so the lucky fans that had one or could still buy one would be the proud owners of a vintage collection piece. (links to VS and CBL webs).
Monogram Multicolore Speedy City Bag

                           
In the 2003 Spring/Summer season, and with this model, began what could be called an epidemic of “must have” bags. It became the most sought-after accessory of the time. Once again, Murakami displayed the subtle meeting ground of fine and  commercial arts.
The Monogramoufage Collection was inaugurated in the Brooklyn Museum, once again showing the symbiosis between art and fashion. The print had been only used by the military, but this proposal offered a transition towards humanizing the concept, steering it away from its merely military roots.
The Cherry Blossom Collection is, clearly, an iconic Murakami model. His flowers and cherries design represent his Japanese heritage and the kawaii pop art of which he is the pioneer. In this way, the firm’s traditional elegance became a celebration of colors.

Yayoi Kusama

 

The obsessive personality and the innocence of her work have touched me. She is successful in sharing her vision of the world with us. Our admiration is mutual.
Marc  Jacobs
Yayoi Kusama is Japanese and last March she celebrated her ninetieth birthday.  She is one of the most popular contemporary artists. Her personal story is as interesting as her art. Of her own will, she lives in a psychiatric ward and draws compulsively to maintain her neurosis at bay.
Half a century after having unsuccessfully walked the streets of New York in search of a gallery that would buy her work, today she has beaten all records in the auction houses. Her relationship with Louis Vuitton stems from the interest that her work, key representative of minimal art and pop art, inspired in Marc Jacobs while he was Director of Vuitton.
Louis Vuitton’s interest in art goes beyond fads and tendencies that come and go; it’s a passion that represents the firm’s essence that dates back to 1854. That is why when Jacobs decided to collaborate with Kusama, he did so based on the firm’s intention of associating its brand to prestigious artists, a history that has repeated itself decade after decade.
Together Jacobs and Kusama presented a unique collection, as easily identified as Vuitton’s iconic Monogram. When you see polkadots and brilliant colors, you can be sure that it’s a Yayoi Kusama original.
The Jacobs-Kusami collaboration went further than the catwalks or the iconic Vuitton stores worldwide. Jacobs was the main architect in inviting the public to dive into Kusami’s extraordinary universe in an exhibit that has toured some of the best museums, such as the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía de Madrid, Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Tate Modern in London and the Whitney Museum in New York.
               
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