Confirming a Nov. 22 report in WWD, the French luxury goods company on Friday said its artistic director Marc Jacobs has collaborated with Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama on a broad range of products, including leather goods, ready-to-wear, accessories, shoes, watches and jewelry. The products are slated to debut in Vuitton boutiques in early July, along with special window installations.
Kusama, 82, is best known for her obsession with polka dots, which she has painted since age 10 and applied to canvases, tree trunks, entire rooms and even people. She has also done collages, soft sculptures and performance art.
Jacobs has a strong track record of buzzy tie-ups with contemporary artists, including Stephen Sprouse, Richard Prince and Takashi Murakami — another Japanese artist whose leather goods, launched in 2002, proved a bonanza for Vuitton. Murakami rendered Vuitton’s famous monogram in vivid colors — sometimes interspersed with eyeballs.
The Kusama project — tied to a major retrospective winding up at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and heading to the Tate Modern in London and Whitney Museum in New York — is likened to the 2009 reissue of iconic Sprouse motifs such as graffiti prints and roses married to iconic Vuitton products.
The Sprouse range came in tandem with a retrospective of the late designer and artist at Manhattan gallery Deitch Projects.
A Vuitton spokeswoman described Jacobs as a longtime fan of Kusama, noting the American designer visited her studio in 2006 while on a trip to Japan.
Vuitton is a supporter of the Kusama exhibit at the Tate Modern, and plans to display some of her artwork inside its London flagship on New Bond Street, she noted.
However, it is understood Jacobs will not showcase any the collaborative designs on the runway during Paris Fashion Week on March 7 — the same day Les Arts Décoratifs here will inaugurate an exhibition, “Louis Vuitton ± Marc Jacobs,” showcasing the development of the 19th-century trunk maker along side Jacobs’ 15-year career there.
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)