This is an exclusive first look at Louis Vuitton’s ‘Celebrating Monogram’ collaboration with six art and design legends. In honor of the house’s 160th anniversary, creative visionaries Karl Lagerfeld, Rei Kawakubo, Cindy Sherman, Frank Gehry, Marc Newson, and, of course, Louboutin reinterpreted the famed Vuitton Monogram with a series of accessories.
“They are extraordinary artists; I could even say they are the greatest designers in the world.” said Delphine Arnault.
From Louboutin’s ‘Classic Caddy,’ accented with the same scarlet that adorns the soles of each pair of his shoes, to Rei Kawakubo’s ‘Bag With Holes,’ a burned out tote that reveals the bag’s inner lining, each creation is playfully distinguished by the unique signature of its creator. Prices range from EUR 1.900 to a staggering EUR 140.000.
“When I designed the bag, I really wanted to give back to Paris, to Vuitton,” says Christian Louboutin.
In 1854, at number 4 Rue des Capucines near the Place Vendôme in Paris, Louis Vuitton launched his luggage business, advancing the travel trunks of the time — which were, then, made with rounded tops to allow water runoff — by creating stackable trunks in treated waterproof canvas. In his memory, his son Georges Vuitton created and patented the now-iconic ‘LV’ monogram, featuring his father’s initials, decorated with quatrefoils and four-petal flowers. Since then, Louis Vuitton the company has gone through several transformations under the ownership of luxury conglomerate LVMH. But the LV monogram has endured over the years as the symbol of what is now one of the world’s most widely recognised brands.
“I was thinking, sort of selfishly, of what I could use. Initially, my idea was just a makeup case, just a small old-fashioned kind. The team at Vuitton was so taken with the idea that they said, ‘Well, what if we did a trunk? In your ideal fantasy world, what would you like?’ At home in New York, I have shelves for fake eyeballs, fake nails, eyelashes, and things like that. So it became a little traveling studio in a way”—a foldout trunk complete with labeled drawers, a makeup mirror, and a stool, and covered in retro travel stamps from imaginary destinations. Cindy Sherman
To mark the 160th anniversary of the house’s founding, Louis Vuitton’s executive vice president Delphine Arnault, daughter of LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault, and artistic director Nicolas Ghesquière initiated a project, dubbed ‘Celebrating Monogram,’ inviting six of the world’s design pioneers (the ‘iconoclasts’) to interpret the LV monogram (the ‘icon’) for a new series of bags.
“There’s a history that’s very emotional for me to talk about, my father never went to school, was a street kid. He worked in a grocery store, and he won an award at the Canadian National Exhibition for designing a grocery store window. This was the guy who ended up never going anywhere, everything against him all his life—that was the one thing. So when they asked that, I had a little tear in my eye. I never told Vuitton this.” Frank Gehry
“The Monogram is the timeless icon of the Maison Louis Vuitton. It has lived through the brand’s countless evolutions, never losing its essence. The leading testament to the fashion house’s success, it was only natural that we should pay homage to it,” said Delphine Arnault.
All the pieces are highly limited and only available in selected LV stores. In France only in Paris and Monaco!NEWSON Backpack (blue, orange, beige) EUR 4.000