Mona Lisa on the bag? The famous Louis Vuitton monogram reshaped? Tags in the form of inflatable rabbits? There is no mistake in here: the new collaboration of Louis Vuitton and one of the most well known artist of our days (and one of my personal favourites), Jeff Koons has just landed. Louis Vuitton (www.louisvuitton.com) will unveil a new collection of bags and accessories designed with Jeff Koons, on 28th April 2017.
How the bags will look like?
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 (Mars, Venus and Cupid), Rubens (The Tiger Hunt), Fragonard and Van Gogh have been transposed on to such iconic Louis Vuitton bags as the Speedy, the Keepall and the Neverfull. #LVxKoon
The bags are realised using the highest quality materials, and each one is boldly emblazoned with the name of the original artist whose work is re-presented. 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 art, the artists
This collaboration is not the first one made by the French house with international contemporary artists. Remember the multi-coloured monograms played by Takashi Murakami? The infinite dots of Yayoi Kusama? The graffiti of Stephen Sprouse? The works done by Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, James Turrell, Olafur Eliasson and Daniel Buren? They 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 relationship culminated in 2014 in the opening of the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, a distinctive art museum designed by Frank Gehry.
This spring’s launch represents the first stage of the collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Jeff Koons. Further chapters will be announced in an ongoing project that celebrates the possibilities of connection through the history of art.
Photography & video: Louis Vuitton