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When Louis Met Murakami

May 19, 2020 4 min read

When Louis Met Murakami

When you hear the name Louis Vuitton, what comes to mind? Most would envision the iconic Monogram print or classic trunks for traveling. Louis Vuitton is a classic household luxury name that for many years would find ways to change their style and create memorable collections. Like many other designers, collaborations are ingenious for thinking outside of the box and injecting life into their collections. 

Between 2002 and 2003, Louis Vuitton broke the mold of signature style when their creative director at the time, Marc Jacobs, collaborated with the ambitious Takashi Murakami. A Japanese artist with the talent to mesh together designs of his own creation with traditional art and historical references. Murakami succeeded in bringing bright colors and whimsical ideas to the world of Louis Vuitton. 


The Man Behind the Change

From traditional training to a style all his own, Takashi Murakami is known for his eccentric and bold creations that have long fascinated the world. A fusion of pop culture and his own creative genius, Murakami blends his formal training, fine art and traditional Japanese painting, with the trends and styles of Western art to create his playful designs. 

Takashi Murakami is best known for his unique and colorful characters that stand out in their mutated forms. Inspired by pop art, many of his pieces include repeated motifs of his creations. His talent in combining the traditional with the new broke barriers in the fashion world and even the music industry. Many artists love the unique art and bright colors and will travel to his exhibitions and showcase his work on the clothing and accessories they wear. 


Connoisseurs of Murakami, like J-Hope of BTS and Billie Eilish, can be seen wearing clothing sporting his beloved characters or attending his exhibitions. Not only is Murakami's designs loved by celebrities, but this love also led to musical collaborations. Some interesting partnerships include multiple projects with Kanye West on his album Graduation and his collaborated album with Kid Cudi, Kids See Ghosts.Murakami also partnered with Eilish for her music video, "You Should See Me in a Crown," and now a collection with UNIQLO that will release at the end of May.


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Creating a Legacy 

If there is a collection that inspires many LV collectors, it is the Multicolore Monogram canvas. In collaboration with Murakami, the coveted Monogram canvas received a colorful update with the print in various colors, adding a fun and new take to a beloved design. Debuting in the 2003 Spring/Summer fashion show, this memorable design became an instant hit for fashion lovers and celebrities. Notable names like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian were known for toting around these trendy bags that also made their name in television and film.


The iconic LVs and fleurs contrasted on white and black backgrounds giving it a sweet yet stylish finish and options for Louis lovers. With this widely popular print, it was available in a variety of Louis Vuitton's iconic bags, like the Speedys and even trunks for travel. For more than 12 years, this memorable look awed the public, but was sadly discontinued in 2015 with the end of the Marc Jacobs era at Louis and the brand's focus to "look forward." To this day many still look to own a Multicolore Monogram piece and will search the resale market for these vibrant pieces. 

Although the Multicolore print was the most successful of the collaboration, Murakami also contributed many of his other designs into Louis Vuitton pieces. The KaiKai Kei flower, known for its large smile, was reinvented into many printed motifs including the Cherry Blossom collection. Sweet and preppy, alongside the Multicolore Monogram, can even be seen in the cult classic, Mean Girls. Other prints include cherries with faces, the Monogramouflage collection, and products that even feature some of his own characters like the Panda bear. Fun and unique, Murakami's work added a new sense of excitement and adventure to every LV piece. 


Collaborations are the core of brands, showing that they are able to branch out and connect artists together to create pieces that are memorable and will serve for many years to come. For 12 years, Murakami was able to leave an impact on Louis Vuitton collectors around the world and established himself as a heavily sought after artist. The partnership between Louis Vuitton and Murakami is one of Couture's favorite collaborations in the fashion industry and we love receiving these rare and fun pieces!

Do you have a favorite Louis Vuitton collaboration? Let us know in the comments!

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