French fashion label Louis Vuitton is moving forward with a high aptitude for art, as the house rolls out reworked Capucines bags by way of an annual contemporary collaboration.
“Artycapucines,” the brand's iterative initiative, pairs notable artists with house artisans to create concepts that transform its namesake offering — in 1854, the house's originator himself debuted his first store on Paris' Rue Neuve-des-Capucines. Bringing the past present, and for the fourth year in a row, Louis Vuitton is back with six international artists, nine reconstructed handbag renditions and one shared purpose.
"'Artycapucines' offers luxury shoppers a well-crafted, limited edition Capucines that is a work of art, a collectible,” said Marie Driscoll, managing director of luxury and fashion at Coresight Research, New York.
“For [those] that want unique, exclusive products this is a collection to consider.”
Enabled ingenuity and innovation exist at the core of Louis Vuitton's latest exhibition.
Also at the center of “Artycapucines” are six incredible artists: American architect Peter Marino; St. Louis-born painter-sculptor Kennedy Yanko; Korean painter Park Seo Bo; French conceptual artist Daniel Buren; Swiss-born sculpture and installation enthusiast Ugo Rondinone and French painter Amélie Bertrand.
Collectively, the group yields more than a dozen different mediums as artistic weapons of choice.
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Viewers are able to witness elevated efficiencies, as craftsmanship ensures that mechanical buffers smooth out rounded edges, needle and thread fasten exquisite beading, and disparate parts are popped into place in a part-explainer, part-cinematic marvel of a long-form campaign movie.
Each artist lends context to the origins of their lofty, artful visions.
“The campaign introduces shoppers to the artists who tell of their inspiration and intent in the creation of their ArtyCapucines,” Ms. Driscoll said.
“The artists are multinational, speaking in their own language, with translations, which underscores the global reach of Louis Vuitton and 'Artycapucines.'”
Ms. Bertrand begins with French musings regarding her beautiful interpretation, while Mr. Buren reflects on his choice to realize quad colorways.
One could only infer that his projects were executed with the effort's anniversary number, and with fitting precision.
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“I realized that it would be wonderful to make more than one, and play with the colors,” he mentions.
His peer, an artist with a demonstrated penchant for decorating nature's blank canvasses, details his unorthodox process.
“I knew the bag had to please, so I opted to use colors as the main attraction,” Mr. Rondinone shares.
His bag's bright, color-blocked aesthetic is reminiscent of “Seven Magic Mountains,” the art stars' mixed media presentation, which sits on the outskirts of Las Vegas and has become a notable tourist attraction-turned-social media magnet.
Conversely, Mr. Seo Bo is slightly more Zen in approach.
“An art piece should be an object to live with the public in everyday life,” Mr. Seo Bo explains of his ethos, reflected in a red-and-black-striped Capucine.
Ms. Yanko's definitively functional final video statement juxtaposes curiously with a destructive design in a construction yellow, revelatory of the many layers at hand within the modern masterpiece.
“I'm excited to see [the Capucines] out in the world,” she says.
“I'm excited to see how people wear it, how they style it.”
Shoppers can snag a limited-edition variety in stores worldwide this month.
The partnership's caliber is, to some extent, also defined by Louis Vuitton's object of great desire in modern times. The accessory meets the mark end-to-end; the Capucines' native design provides a fine blueprint in and of itself.
“The LV Capucines bag is one of Louis Vuitton’s more expensive bags in its collection, more exclusive than [a] Neverfull [or] Speedy,” Coresight's Ms. Driscoll said.
“By using the Capucines silhouette in combination with the group of fine artists, the Capucines is being elevated to the level of an art form,” she said. “The halo extends to the Louis Vuitton brand as well.
“These are exclusive Artycapucines bags that become collectibles as well as worthy of daily wear.”
A select few “Artycapucines” representatives can call themselves previous partners of the maison.
Mr. Marino, for instance, is a longtime choice for Louis Vuitton interiors. Café V, the brand’s first cafe and Sugalabo V, its first restaurant, were designed by the talent alongside Japanese architect Jun Aoki (see story).
Other members of Louis Vuitton's latest creative cohort are new to the guard, as was the case with a majority of last year's picks (see story).
“LVMH and Louis Vuitton support the arts in many ways — education, young artists, the 'Fondation' in Paris, many programs, exhibits — the 'Artycapucines' collection is a single facet of their cultural engagement strategy,” Ms. Driscoll said.
“In its totality, LVMH’s support of the arts benefits many more than luxury shoppers, while increasing brand awareness and deepening brand engagement with not-yet Louis Vuitton shoppers.”