Louis Vuitton mirrors Yayoi Kusama's Tokyo collaboration with New York pop-up
Tokyo is so crowded that its mayor announced a new program that would pay families 1 million yen ($7,700) to leave and settle in its dying population rural areas. Louis Vuitton—which just opened its highly awaited Louis Vuitton X Yayoi Kusama collaboration pop-up in the Japanese capital—required no such incentive to expand the concept beyond the premiere location. The brand headed to the West with its collaboration that pairs the artist most famous for her dotted pumpkin art with the French Maison. Specifically, Louis Vuitton put down stakes in Manhattan's downtown west side in the trendy Meatpacking District for the second installment of the lively art-meets-retail collaboration opening on January 6.
Located on a prime corner—just across from the Whitney Museum's Meatpacking outpost, surely drawing a similar crowd—the store is covered in the famous dots, visible from the street over two floors. Much like the Tokyo store, the centerpiece of the retail space is covered in the infinity dot pattern, only reversed to a yellow background and black dots versus the black background and yellow dots. Inspired by the artist's Infinity Room Mirrors, large, multi-sized mirrored balls scatter throughout the space from floor to ceiling for a completely immersive experience depicting the Metal Dots motif. The Tokyo store bears a larger-than-life statue of the 93-year-old Kusama bursting through the floor, which seems to have been omitted in the New York store.
Of course, the organic polka dots which famously decorate Kusama's beloved pumpkins also adorn the French Maison's métiers of ready-to-wear, leather goods, accessories, shoes, fragrances, and hard-sided goods.
The Meatpacking location on Gansevoort Street is scheduled to run through the end of April, with Drop 2 of the collaboration collection launching on March 31.
For another take on Kusama's orb-shaped artwork, the Soho Louis Vuitton pop-up will display the collection in the Painted Dots variation manifested in the primary colors (plus green!) on a white background scheme. The colorful circles also dot the façade of the building for a very "Put Me in the Zoo" children's book vibe. The Soho iteration closely resembles the campaign for the collaboration shot by Steven Meisel, which features models Gisele Bündchen, Liya Kebede, Devon Aoki, Christy Turlington, and Anok Yai. In both cases, the retail stores cry out for social media posting galore.
This is the second time the French luxury brand has collaborated with Kusama. The brand collaborated with Kusama initially in 2012 and sponsored the Yayoi Kusama retrospective at the Whitney's original uptown location. The partnership was led by then-creative director Marc Jacobs who was also responsible for the highly successful Stephen Sprouse and Takashi Murakami collaborations.
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