Louis Vuitton and Yayoi Kusama Collection Launches

ICYMI. TheLouis Vuitton Yayoi Kusama 2023 “Creating Infinity” collection launched worldwide earlier this year with great fanfare. Think giant Kusama sculptures and realistic Kusama robots installed in LV flagship stores in multiple cities around the worldwide.  

SecondYayokiKusanaLouis Vuitton Collaboration 

This second collaboration between the influential Japanese artist and the venerable French fashion house comes 10 years after the incredibly successful first pairing, and it is an exuberant celebration of LV’s longstanding partnership with the esteemed Avant-Garde artist.  
Kusama’s quirky, whimsical style perfectly complements the distinguished fashion house’s designs.  This newest collection is much more extensive than the first, with over 450 items that all feature the artist’s signature motifs.  

Louis Vuitton and Yayoi Kusama Installment Releases  

TheLV Kusama collection will come out in two installments, with the first release seeing the artist’s painted dots, metal dots, infinity dots, and psychedelic flowers bring a burst of creativity across a diverse range of items from men's and women's ready-to-wear,handbags, shoes, accessories, luggage, and fragrances.  

About the Artist  

Today,Yayoi Kusama is the celebrated artist that has captivated the world’s attention, but she has had to overcome a lot to get to where she is. From a difficult childhood to her continued struggles with mental health — a fact that the 93-year-old, who has voluntarily lived in a mental health facility since the 1970s, is open about — Kusama’s success is a testament to her perseverance and artistic spirt. 
When Kusama was 10 years old, she began experiencing hallucinations that included encountering talking flowers and seeing “dense fields of dots”, as she called it. To cope with these troubling episodes, she turned to art and would draw everything that she saw.  
During the second world war, when Kusama was 13, she was conscripted to work in a military factory that produced parachutes for the Japanese army. But she continued to paint and create art and after the war, went to study the traditional Japanese art style of nihonga at the Kyoto City University of Arts. 
By the 1950s, Kusama was seeing early success as an artist in Japan when she began covering everything from walls and floors to canvases, then objects, and later, naked assistants with the polka dots that would become her signature motif. These repetitive dots, or “infinity nets,” were Kusama’s way to obliterate the self or become one with the universe.  
Kusama arrived in New York in 1958 and became a pioneer in the Avante Garde art movement. She created her first Mirror/Infinity room in 1963, and the immensely popular series continues to this day. She staged several happenings in public spaces such as Central Park and the Sculpture Garden of the Museum of Modern Art, which involved painting polka dots on naked performers.  
By the early 1970s though, Kusama had returned to Japan and her work was largely forgotten for over a decade. It was not until the late 1980s and 1990s that several retrospectives revived interest in Kusama’s work and her popularity has only steadily increased since then. 

 Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama  

In 2012, Louis Vuitton sponsored a solo exhibition of Kusama’s work called “Yayoi Kusuma” at the Whitney Museum of American Art. This coincided with the release of the firstLouis Vuitton Kusama collection “Infinitely Kusama,” a capsule collection consisting of bags, ready-to-wear clothing, accessories, shoes, and jewelry covered with Kusama’s iconic dots. 
Then creative director Marc Jacobs had first met the famed artist in her studio in Japan back in 2006 and was immediately struck by the artist’s “endless energy”, as he called it. The resulting collaboration was bold, playful and an instant hit. The coveted items from this first collection are incredibly hard to come by.  


Artist Collaborations  

Louis Vuitton, the world’s most valuable luxury brand, has pioneered the practice of collaborating with artists, creating the blueprint for successful partnerships with its groundbreaking artists collaborations. Starting with Stephen Sprouse’s 2001 graffitied Monogram Canvas bags and quickly followed by the longstanding partnership with Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, Louis Vuitton’s artist collaborations are always surprising and result in some of the brand’s most highly sought after items. 
The contemporary artist, Murakami, first collaborated with Louis Vuitton for the brand’s Spring/Summer 2003 Collection, launching the iconic Monogram Multicolor line, which continued to be a part of the house’s offerings until it was finally discontinued in 2015. Other artists that Louis Vuitton has partnered with include Jeff Koons and Richard Prince.  
Not only is it rare for Louis Vuitton to revisit an artist collaboration but its second collection with Kusama is the brand’s most comprehensive collection with an artist to date with over 450 pieces that blend Kusama’s creativity with the brand’s expert craftmanship. 
The pieces in this latestYayoi Louis Vuitton collection celebrate Kusama’s unique worldview and fall into four themes: Painted Dots, Metal Dots, Infinity Dots, and Psychedelic Flower. 


Painted Dots  

Inspired by a hand-painted Monogram trunk by Kusama from the original collaboration, the “Painted Dots” theme uses an innovative serigraphy technique that reproduces Kusama’s brushstrokes, giving a realistic hand-painted effect to the primary color dots and monochromatic dots that decorate Louis Vuitton’s most iconic pieces, as well as new polka dot handbags. 

Metal Dots  

For the “Metal Dots” theme, metal half spheres in various sizes are applied by hand to evoke the artist’s seminal work “Narcissus Garden”, an installation of thousands of mirrored orbs first seen at the 1966 Venice Biennale. The spheres create a stunning silver mirror effect that makes a big impact on LV’s leather items.  

Infinity Dots  

The most recognizable of Kusama’s motifs, polka dots, is used to profound effect in the “Infinity Dots” theme. With a bold color palette of red, black, and yellow, this collection features the artist’s obsessive dots across a vast range of items and even showcases Kusama’s signature pumpkin.  

Psychedelic Flower  

Meanwhile, the “Psychedelic Flower” theme recalls Kusama’s 1993 “Flower” painting and adds a hypnotic allure to LV’s designs. The Psychedelic Flower print encapsulates the paradox between the ephemeral life of a flower and the infinity of endless dots. 
Stay Tuned for the Next Louis Vuitton and Kusama Installment 
The first part of this latest LV x Kusama collaboration was released worldwide on January 6, and the second part will be revealed on Mar 31, 2023. No word yet on what the second drop will bring, but if the original collaboration is any indication, these pieces andcreative bags will continue to captivate luxury fans for many years to come.