PARIS — Stephen Sprouse graffiti on handbags was just a teaser.
Taking the fashion-art link to a new zenith, Louis Vuitton revealed plans to establish a 100 million euro ($127 million) art foundation in Paris, in a new structure designed by architect Frank Gehry.
"It's more akin to a cloud than a building," a beaming Bernard Arnault told a packed press conference here Monday as Paris Fashion Week kicked into gear. "It's a foundation for contemporary creation, but rooted in the past….It will promote the cultural and artistic influence of France in the world."
Construction of the 45,000-square-foot museum — a showcase for LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton's vast corporate art collection, plus temporary exhibitions — should start next year, with the opening scheduled for 2009 or 2010, barring any unforeseen administrative tangles.
Arnault and Gehry described an arduous, almost three-year process to obtain the necessary permissions to build on a site in the Bois de Boulogne in the city's western suburbs. Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë was on hand to urge politicians to "forget self-interest" and accept "this tremendous gift to Paris."
Arnault's luxury rival François Pinault scuttled plans to open a Tadao Ando-designed art foundation on Paris' Ile Seguin in 2005 after years of red tape stymied the project. The PPR founder ultimately bought Palazzo Grassi in Venice, which opened to visitors last May as a showcase for his vast collection of contemporary art.
Asked by Agence France-Presse if this was a case of one-upmanship, Arnault shrugged, "I don't think that the comparisons with other foundations are relevant," then dimmed the lights to screen a computerized walk-around of the eye-popping building.
"Bernard is a very impatient man. If it was up to him, he would have built it last year," quipped Gehry as a model of his building spun into view on a rotating dais.
"I think it's amazingly beautiful," declared Marc Jacobs, Vuitton's creative director and an art collector himself. "I'm excited."
Gehry said when Arnault took him to view the site of the museum, his mind went to Marcel Proust, and he quickly sketched an abstract cloud-like form that he is still fine-tuning. Sweeping glass forms shroud stacked white gallery spaces inside and a rooftop garden.Details about the art policy were scarce, but Arnault vowed a dynamic program of rotating exhibitions, at least two per year, with displays ranging from masterpieces by Picasso to a dress designed by Christian Dior for the Duchess of Windsor. The building also houses an auditorium for musical performances, he added.
Vuitton chief executive Yves Carcelle recounted the French luxury brand's historic ties to the art world, as well as a recent acceleration of hookups, from collaborations between Marc Jacobs and artists Sprouse and Takashi Murakami for handbags to permanent artworks by James Turrell and Olafur Eliasson in Vuitton boutiques.
Arnault said LVMH, which has sponsored some 26 major art exhibitions in France over the past 15 years, would also continue a similar program of arts patronage. Admission to the Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation will be free of charge.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)