Louis Vuitton turns 160 years old this year, but it’s really we who get to celebrate. They’ve given us a chance to put heavyweights like Frank Gehry, Christian Louboutin, Marc Newson, Rei Kawakubo, Cindy Sherman and Karl Lagerfeld in the same sentence, by collaborating with them on a project called The Icon And The Iconoclasts.
It’s a series of collaborations that has these art and design stars do whatever they please with the iconic monogram – and, of course, knock a bit of whimsy into the classic leather accessories.
For instance, there’s a burst of red in Louboutin’s shopping trolley for LV. Sherman’s camera messenger bag is embroidered with colourful badges, and the vanity trunk she’s designed comes with neon drawers and a fold out stool. Gehry – who recently designed the Fondation Louis Vuitton for the fashion house – made a box bag that mimics the façade of his many swanky towers (as if it were tugged and twisted at ends). Kawakubo punches holes into her peek-a-boo tote. Lagerfeld created a “punch” bag, with gloves, gym mat and locker bag to match. And Newson adds a patch of neon shearling to his backpack – who can resist fuzz, really?
The project was initiated by Delphine Arnault, Executive Vice President of Louis Vuitton and Nicolas Ghesquière, Louis Vuitton’s Artistic Director of Women’s Collections. “When we talked with Nicolas Ghesquiqère about the extraordinary talents we would like to approach we simply went to those who are among the best in their fields,” says Delphine Arnault. “We were interested in people who work with their minds and their hands. I thought it was so interesting – and fun! – to have all of these different points of view on the monogram. It is inspiring to see how they envision things, to see their perspectives. This is a group of geniuses.”
Each collaboration has its own little fashion film, watch them all above.