I recently got invited to an exclusive preview of how street art steps into the world of high-end fashion as Louis Vuitton collaborates with three graffiti artists to launch their Foulards d’Artistes collection. LV started this kind of collaboration with street artists back in 2001 when they featured artist Stephen Sprouse. In March this year a collaboration between Louis Vuitton and 3 street artists from around the world was launched. Their signature style was printed on a limited edition of three classic LV scarfs (Silk, Cashmere and Cotton).
If you have ever been to Paris you might have seen one of André´s famous “Monsieur A” characters on some of the walls in the city of love. André Saraiva is a Swedish-Portuguese graffiti artist born in 1971 who lives and works in Paris. He became famous in the 90s for his “Monsieur A” tags which he has done over 30.000 times since then…
The second artist is called Inti, a Chilean street artist, who has drawn inspiration from ancient Andean culture for his version. Glowing in energetic shades of sun, his design features an inspired motif of the face of Inca God Wiracocha.
“I’m inspired by the Latin American people and culture before the Spanish invasion. The indigenous original towns, culture, people, and the continent in general before the European influence,” he says. “Difference is not a bad thing, it’s what enriches a culture.”
Apart from cultural symbols, Inti likes to include things that he “never wants to live without,” like food, shelter, music and alcohol. Inti, whose name translates as “sun” in the Incan language, began creating art in Valparaíso at the age of 14. While his passion started with small sketches and graffiti “tags” in the streets, he soon began to cultivate his talents further by studying painting at the School of Fine Arts in neighboring Viña Del Mar.
The third artist is Kenny Sharf who was born 1958 in Los Angeles. 1980 he graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York.
Even though he designed for Louis Vuitton and collaborates now with the famous concept store COLETTE in Paris, Scharf does not want his art to be only for the upper class:
I don’t want art to be an elitist thing that only certain people can understand what I’m doing. I know that there’s an elitist audience and I went to art school and I studied art history and I’m aware of that and it’s important to me to be part of that dialogue, but at the same time, I’m also aware of so many people who don’t know about that. It’s important to me to reach out to everyone and offer something for all different audiences, whether it be the art elitist or the art-uninitiated person on the street.
Out of the three limited LV scarfs I presented you I personally like Kenny Scharf´s design the most. André´s version is also quite cool but the colors on the heavy Cashmere scarf are to girly for me. I definitely do not like the orange version Inti came up with. Its a cotton scarf but all the orange with the culty pattern is a bit too old fashion for me. Kenny´s design is great, I like the color and the Manga like scheme. The only problem I had was the material. Its made out of silk which is a weird kind of scarf to have for a man but given the fact that its a limited edition and a kind of iconic piece I had to take it (its still in the box in came in…but its MINE ;-).