Over the years, Louis Vuitton has shown great support for the world of art by doing a series of high-profile partnerships with the influential artists. Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, Yayoi Kusama, Stephen Sprouse, Cindy Sherman, James Turrell, Olafur Eliasson and Daniel Buren have worked with Louis Vuitton on commissioned artworks, the development of new products and the staging of fashion shows, expanding the House’s role as both patron and curator in creating new ways for the public to experience the arts. This special relationship reached a climax in 2014 with the opening of Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, a distinctive art museum designed by Frank Gehry.
This time, the House continues this love affair with art as it announces the collaboration between the brand and the New York-based artist Jeff Koons for a new range of bags and accessories to be launched on 28 April.
As one of the most widely recognised figures in contemporary art, Koons has brought imagery from his long-standing ‘Gazing Ball’ paintings – a series of large-scale hand-painted reproductions of works by the Old Masters – to a range of Louis Vuitton products. His re-creations of masterpieces by da Vinci, Titian, Rubens, Fragonard and Van Gogh have been transposed on to such iconic Louis Vuitton bags as the Speedy, the Keepall and the Neverfull. Pushing its know-how to new limits, Louis Vuitton has employed the most advanced techniques and craftsmanship to faithfully reproduce the artworks on the canvas of the bags, each one emblazoned with the name of the original artist whose work is represented.
Koons has also reconfigured the famous Louis Vuitton Monogram to bear his initials. This represents a radical departure for the House, which has never previously allowed its iconic pattern to be reshaped. Elements from this new monogram have been crafted by Louis Vuitton in metal and placed on the exterior of the bag, as has Koons’s own signature. Each bag also carries a tag in the shape of the inflatable rabbit which has proved to be an enduring motif in Koons’s work throughout his 40-year career, while a biography and portrait of the Master whose work has been referenced is featured on the inside of the bag.
The spring’s launch may just be the beginning of the collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Jeff Koons. Stay tuned for more on this ongoing project that celebrates the possibilities of connection through the history of art.
In the meantime, watch this cheeky preview of the collaboration: