Vuitton x Koons Creates New Old Masters
Since 1854, the House of Louis Vuitton has been driven by a desire to explore new horizons. It has engaged the world of art through a series of high-profile collaborations with noted influencers such as Richard Prince, Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami, Cindy Sherman, and Yayoi Kusama.
Now, the notorious and irreverent Jeff Koons joins this storied list with the collaborative Masters Series. Koons previous fashion forays were in jewelry with Stella McCartney and whimsical clothing creations with Lisa Perry in 2012.
The Masters Series is the New York-based artist’s new accessories collection, each one adorned in an interpretation of iconic masterpieces by Peter Paul Rubens, da Vinci, van Gogh, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, and Titian. There are a total of 51 pieces in this limited accessories collection.
The images are not high- tech reprints of the original paintings. Rather, based on Koons’ ‘Gazing Ball’ series of paintings, which were hand- painted reproductions of works by the Old Masters, these re-creations are transposed onto the iconic Louis Vuitton Speedy, the Keepall, and the Neverfull. Louis Vuitton has employed the most advanced techniques and craftsmanship to apply the artworks onto the canvas of the bags. Reports indicate that it took almost 50 tries for artisans to reproduce each painting to Koons’s specifications, ensuring that every brushstroke and nuance are meticulously captured in the final product.
Ever the auteur, Koons even reconfigured the famous LV monogram to bear his initials. This represents a radical departure for the House, which has never permitted such audacity in past collections.
Each bag also carries a tag in the shape of the Inflatable Bunny, a motif that Koons has employed throughout his 40-year career, while a biography and portrait of the Master whose work has been referenced is featured on the inside of each bag. Wildly desirable and priced within reason from $585 to $4,000, this limited-edition collection is already highly sought-after by avid collectors and fashionista from around the world.
(This article was originally published with my byline in HLM Magazine).