MASTERS: LOUIS VUITTON × JEFF KOONS
Marrying art history with luxury arm candy.
Few fashion brands can claim to have such a strong affinity with the art world that the likes of Sotheby’s have a dedicated thread titled ‘The Best of Louis Vuitton’s Artist Collaborations’, but such is the reputation of the French fashion house, which today has announced Jeff Koons as its latest industry ally.
Arriving in-store on 28th April, today’s news follows successful partnerships with some of modern art’s most important names – amongst them Yayoi Kusama, Cindy Sherman, Takashi Murakami and Stephen Sprouse; in 2014 Vuitton opened the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, a spectacular Frank Gehry designed space dedicated solely to contemporary art, reaffirming, as the new collaboration will no doubt do likewise, its status as a genuine model of present culture.
The first of several chapters to be delivered in this new ongoing project celebrating ‘the possibilities of connection through the history of art’, the New York based artist, whose Now exhibition enjoyed a successful run at Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery in 2016, has teamed up with Vuitton for a series of bags and accessories featuring imagery from his Gazing Ball paintings; a subversive body of work from 2015 that reimagines pieces by the Old Masters, Van Gogh, da Vinci and more, on a grand scale.
Here the pieces have been re-presented on iconic Vuitton bags the Speedy, the Keepall and the Neverfull, each accompanied by a tag in the shape of Koons’ inflatable rabbit, an enduring motif throughout the artist’s career of forty years; a biography and portrait of the Master whose work features can also be found inside the bag. Elsewhere something of a coup, as Koons has been trusted with the brand’s famous monogram, reconfiguring the classic LV print to bear his own initials, something never previously allowed by the house.