Style / Fashion

Louis Vuitton Renews Collaboration with Yayoi Kusama

This “second chapter” is Louis Vuitton’s continued effort in promoting itself as a cultural powerhouse in the fashion world.

May 18, 2022 | By Joseph Low

The renewed collaboration between Louis Vuitton and the Japanese art maven, Yayoi Kusama, comes full circle. The artist’s message of obsession and seriality are translated through the use of polka dots populated across some of the luxury fashion house’s Cruise 2023 product line-up.

This is the second time the Maison and Kusama had worked together and a celebration of Louis Vuitton’s longstanding partnership with the artist. The first creative endeavour occurred in 2012, under the helm of Marc Jacobs. The artist’s signature dots made it across famous Louis Vuitton silhouettes like the Keepall, Neverfull, Papillon and Speedy. To this day, pieces from the inaugural collection still fetch exorbitant prices on many resale platforms.

“Yayoi Kusama’s collaboration in 2012 flourished through various universes of the Maison, from exhibitions, products and a series of unique window installations, which included a startingly life-like mannequin modelled after the artist herself,” says Louis Vuitton in a press release.

Louis Vuitton Yayoi Kusama collection Selfridges
Yayoi Kusama’s exhibition in Selfridges 2012.

More than just a typical fashion meets art collaboration, the decision to invite artists onboard also exemplifies Louis Vuitton’s desire to remain a cultural powerhouse. Other past collaborations with artists include Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami and Richard Prince. Its most recent appointment of Jung Hoyeon, the South Korean actress who rose to fame through the hit Netflix series “Squid Game” is another example of the Maison plugging itself into the cultural zeitgeist and cementing its position at the forefront of the cultural movement.

Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama
Image: Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama
Image: Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama
Image: Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama
Image: Louis Vuitton

One could also look at these collaborations as a way for luxury fashion brands to appeal to a broader set of audiences by tapping into the fan base of these artists. Furthermore, products created from these collective efforts make a rare sense of permanence. And many times, it also transcends seasons and continues to be a hit among fashion enthusiasts and collectors.

A sneak peek of the partnership, which featured a handful of leather goods, was unveiled during Artistic Director of Women’s Collections Nicolas Ghesquière’s Cruise 2023 at the Salk Institute in San Diego. References to Kusama’s exhibition titled “Narcissus Garden”, where multiple metallic orbs filled the space, decorated the Twist bags. The contemporary artist’s penchant for colourful dots also appeared on the Dauphine and soft trunk bags.

According to Louis Vuitton, this is just a teaser and next year January, the full-fledged collection will be out in stores.

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