Louis Vuitton teams with Yayoi Kusama

Sunday, July 15, 2012    

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Louis Vuitton is again putting a bit of Japanese culture on the arms, and streets, of its customers. The French fashion house unveiled a new collection last Tuesday created in collaboration between dot-obsessed artist Yayoi Kusama and Louis Vuitton creative director Marc Jacobs — and everyone within a five-block radius of 57th Street and Fifth Avenue in New York City was seeing nothing but spots. Louis Vuitton CEO Yves Carcelle told WWD: "The number of dots is so obsessive, no one can count them," while standing next to two models dressed as the artist herself.

Wrapped in a pattern of dots, the outside of the Louis Vuitton complements the collection's shoes, handbags, sunglasses and apparel also covered in a frenzied series of bold, graphic polka dots. The artist made a grand entrance via a polka-dotted wheelchair, and emerged from the Louis Vuitton store basking in applause. The smile-inducing window installation was void of any merchandise, instead featuring undulating inflatable tentacles done in red-and-white polka dots, plus a miniature of wax figure of Kusama herself. Carcelle said: "When you work with an artist, it's not a commercial operation. And as somebody once said, the window is the invitation but the store is the party." Jacobs, an avid art collector who met Kusama in 2006, started the collection with inspiration of 'obsession and seriality,' according to a company statement. Already a fan of Kusama's sculptures and paintings, the designer said: "The obsessive character and the innocence of her artwork touch me." The timing of the product launch and building installation coincides with the Whitney Museum of American Art's new exhibition of Kusama's work. A decade ago, Jacobs and Louis Vuitton had great success collaborating with Japanese designer Takashi Murakami on a series of pop-art products that became instant must-haves among the fashion crowd and spawned a seemingly infinite number of mass-market items covered in similar-style rainbow-colored monograms and logos. The second half of the collaboration, featuring Kusama's take on the iconic Louis Vuitton monogram, will launch on August 24, to coincide with the collection's six-week 'takeover' at Selfridges.

— Daily Mail



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