Celebrating Monogram

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.

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LAGERFELD
Punching bags in different sizes EUR 2.300-140.000, Gloves incl. Mat and Valise EUR 4.000
 

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.

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LOUBOUTIN
Shopping Trolley EUR 17.000, Shopping Bag EUR 3.500
 

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

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SHERMAN
Messenger EUR 2.900, Malle Transform (incl. Messenger bag) EUR 140.000
 

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

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GEHRY
Twisted Box EUR 3.000
 

“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.

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KAWAKUBO 
Tote EUR 1.900
 

All the pieces are highly limited and only available in selected LV stores. In France only in Paris and Monaco!

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NEWSON 
Backpack (blue, orange, beige) EUR 4.000

 

 

 

CASTRO FOR LOUIS VUITTON

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).

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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…

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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.

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“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.

Bildschirmfoto 2014-04-11 um 13.36.18Even 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 ;-).