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Marc Jacobs created a number of gorgeous collections with Louis Vuitton; however more importantly he utilized many artists and created a series of artistic collaborations throughout his tenure with the brand. Some of the more notable collaborations represented how upscale and commercial could successfully meet streetwear and art. The list of his most celebrated artistic partnerships include Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince and Yayoi Kusama.
Stephen Sprouse Collaboration (circa 2001 & 2009)
Stephen Sprouse was the first artist who collaborated with Marc Jacobs which occurred back in 2001. In a mix of streetwear and luxury attire, the iconic monogram keepalls and luggage bags walked the runway emblazoned with Stephen Sproue’s Graffiti art. The line was so popular that the pieces were snatched up in an instant. A second tribute collection was later created in 2009.
In 2009, Marc Jacobs made a tribute collection for the artist, who passed away in 2004 to coincide with an exhibition about Stephen Sprouse at the Deitch Gallery. Marc Jacobs was quoted as saying that the 2009 collection was not a remake of the graffiti line that Stephen Sprouse created for Louis Vuitton but a Louis Vuitton creation for the artist Stephen Sprouse. Graffiti scribbled bags were made available in bright neon colors such as green, pink and orange. The rose print also adorned many of the most popular bags by Louis Vuitton including the Neverfull and Speedy. The iconic leopard Stephen Sprouse print was re-introduced again in 2013 for the “Artists’ Scarves” collection.
Takashi Murakami Collaboration (circa 2003 & 2008)
For the Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2003 Runway collection, Marc Jacobs sent models down the runway carrying the poptastic prints by Takashi Murakami on the purses. Each purse included the eye popping happy anime iconography that the renowned Japanese artist is known for. In 2006, a follow-up to the first commercial aired in Japan called “Superflat Monogram”, a second part from the original was released called “Super Flat First Love” featuring a story of fantasy and the luxury brand. The Murakami collaboration launched a number of iconic prints including: Multicolore Print, Cherry Blossoms, Putipanda and Mongramouflage.
Richard Prince (circa 2007)
The Louis Vuitton Spring 2008 collection included the collaboration with artist and photographer Richard Prince. The artist is known for his depictions of cowboys and nurses, so it was no wonder that the theme of the runway show included nurses in see-through outfits. The purses from the collection were a series of paint splattered canvas coated purses with cheeky quotes on the front. Richard Prince would then shoot the 2008 Louis Vuitton ad campaign full of coquettish supermodels on the artist’s 1970’s Dodge Challenger.
Yayoi Kusama (circa 2012)
The collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Yayoi Kusama, a renowned Japanese artist, occurred in 2012 at the same time the Whitney Museum in New York released an exhibition showing a retrospective of the artist’s many works. Yayoi Kusama is well known for her giant artwork pieces covered in a myriad of her signature patterns. One re-occurring print in particular is the polka dot. The polka dot motif was carried over to Louis Vuitton’s many bags, shoes and accessories in a series of her signature colors red and yellow. The same patterns were included in many of Yayoi Kusama’s art pieces, which now reside in various museums around the world.
Picture credits: Louis Vuitton