Continuing Louis Vuitton Week, we take a look back at 10 pieces inspired by streetwear and street culture.
Louis Vuitton is one of the most celebrated fashion houses in existence and holds certain sway over the couture landscape. While the fashion house’s heritage and history are not to be overlooked, Louis Vuitton is also consistently rated amongst the most valuable luxury brands. The Marc Jacobs-era of LV ushered in a number of important collaborations, starting with Stephen Sprouse and his graffiti-inspired designs in 2001. In light of Louis Vuitton’s 160th anniversary, we take a look back at 10 collaborations inspired by street culture.
Stephen Sprouse’s Day-Glo Scrawlings
Stephen Sprouse seems the perfect place to start when speaking on Louis Vuitton’s history of appropriating street culture. Sprouse is credited with pioneering a mix between uptown couture in clothing with a punk aesthetic; essentially the polarization of fashion and streetwear that is so popular today. Sprouse teamed up with Louis Vuitton in 2001 and 2008, and for the latter, day-glo paint was scrawled over the famous monogram pattern, and even a matching skateboard was included in the drop.
Takashi Murakami’s Monogramouflage
Takashi Murakami‘s so-called monogramouflage motif made equal waves amongst fans of streetwear and high fashion, however Murakami’s work with Louis Vuitton extended far past that specific pattern. The vivid flowery imagery he is known for could also be found across handbags, small accessories and a number of exhibitions, all met with great acclaim. Pieces from this collaboration essentially double as contemporary art and are still highly collectible today.
Dons, Jaspers and Hudsons
Louis Vuitton tapping Kanye West for a sneaker line is an obvious choice for this list. Even though this collaboration is several years old, it likely brings credibility to the sneaker offerings in Louis Vuitton’s standard catalog, which usually includes a number of streetwear-minded iterations every season. Yeezus named each silhouette after close members of his crew at the time, including his tour manager Don Crawley, his barber Ibn Jasper and artist Mr. Hudson.
In a very similar vein to the Stephen Sprouse collaboration, Louis Vuitton turned to artists INTI, Kenny Scharf and André Saraiva to work on a series of colorful, limited edition scarves. A separate release that was also based around collaborative scarves featured street artists Aiko, RETNA and Os Gêmeos.
LV Miami Flaship Store Treated by RETNA
While it wasn’t the first time Louis Vuitton has decorated a storefront with graffiti, in 2012 the French fashion house brought the American graffiti artist RETNA to Miami to deck out the flagship location.
Off-beat Japanese fashion label AMBUSH put their heads together with Louis Vuitton on 2012 for this PLAYBUTTON project. Louis Vuitton tapping AMBUSH is a fairly significant moment, as the Japanese label represents a very outré taste and the demographic that comes with it. The PLAYBUTTON project entails a wearable music accessory that would play a tune when activated, while the production run for this release was limited to 30 pieces.
André Saraiva Eyewear Campaign
André Saraiva returned to the Louis Vuitton design studio in 2010 to work on a sunglasses campaign. For the resulting imagery, André provided his characteristic graffiti-style illustrations and also modeled for the occasion.
Luggage by eL Seed
Louis Vuitton has a pretty strong inclination toward street art, we can clearly tell at this point. Another graffiti sprayer entering the ranks of Louis collaborators was eL Seed, a Tunisian urban artist who adorned some classic Louis luggage with Arabic-style calligraphy and graffiti, which he calls “calligraffiti.”
These crips and bloods-style paisley print sneakers from Louis Vuitton could definitely a bit of a stretch, but one thing is for sure – the fashion house is not drawing upon its heritage of luxury luggage for this release of “Bandana” sneakers.
Regarded around the world as being one of the most talented entities in tattooing, Scott Campbell was hit up by Louis Vuitton to add some flair to this series of murdered-out handbags. Visually, the project manifested through intricate illustrations courtesy of Campbell, hitting shelves as the laser-etched “Utah Bag.”
See more Louis Vuitton Week pieces here.