Louis Vuitton Connects The Dots By Leveraging Artist Collaboration
Nov 16, 2012
The partnership between Louis Vuitton and Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama shows that the arts are every bit as exploitable as sport. It just takes creativity.
Elements of the Vuitton/Kusama partnership include sponsorship of museum shows in New York City and London; an iPhone app; a Vuitton-sponsored book of her work; a collaboration between the artist and Vuitton creative director Marc Jacobs resulting in co-branded merchandise; window displays in major Vuitton retailers and Vuitton’s own stores; and integration in Vuitton’s digital media.
Vuitton sponsored Kusama’s show at London’s Tate Modern last summer, moving with it to the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Kusama—known for her bold, graphic polka dots and waves in a wild series of sizes and colors—has her dots on Vuitton shoes, handbags, shirts, skirts, sunglasses and towels, among other items. The capsule collection is called Infinitely Kusama and is available in all 476 Vuitton boutiques.
The work of the 83-year-old artist also is showcased in seven pop-up Vuitton boutiques, including one measuring 1,000 square feet in London’s Selfridge’s department store. The retailer devoted all 24 of its store windows to the collection and produced two short films for the window takeover.
VuPop up boutique
itton window display in the brand's flagship Manhattan store on Fifth Avenue pays homage to three Kusama motifs: "Beginning of the Universe," ''Eternal Blooming Flowers in My Mind" and "Self-Obliteration." The building facade is wrapped in a pattern of dots.
Activation also includes the iPhone app that lets fashionistas and art fans apply Kusama’s obsessions—repetitive dots, waves and mirrors—to their own pictures and share them to a public gallery within the app, on the microsite created for the app, and/or on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
The iPhone app screen shot includes a Vuitton Kusama polka dot clutch
Check out the Vuitton web site and you will see Kusama all over it, as well.
A decade ago, Louis Vuitton had great success collaborating with Japanese designer Takashi Murakami on a series of pop-art products that became instant must-haves among the fashion crowd and spawned a seemingly infinite number of mass-market items covered in similar-style rainbow-colored monograms and logos.
In addition to the Kusama retrospectives at Tate and Whitney, Vuitton sponsors Louis Vuitton Art Talks (conversations with top artists in homes of important collectors) through L.A.’s MOCA; the Louis Vuitton Young Arts Project with five London galleries; and the School of the Arts in Singapore.
Fashion Brands and Arts Sponsorships
- Bally: Art Basel; Art Basel Miami Beach
- Bulgari: Art Gallery of New South Wales
- Cartier: Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art, Paris
- Fendi: Design Miami/Basel
- Gucci: L.A. County Museum of Art’s Art + Film Gala
- Hugo Boss: Guggenheim and Venice Biennale, U.S. Pavilion
- Mulberry: Frieze New York 2012
- Prada: Costume Institute at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art; numerous museum exhibitions
- Salvatore Ferragamo: Leonardo da Vinci at the Louvre, 2012
- Zegna: ZegnArt
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