Louis Vuitton will be turning 170 next year, but its ready-to-wear clothing line is less than thirty years old. Here are five iconic Louis Vuitton collaborations from the luxury brand's lasting foray into fashion.
LOUIS VUITTON COLLABORATIONS HISTORY
Louis Vuitton has been a constant collaborator since 2001 when Marc Jacobs, who in 1997 was appointed the brand’s first artistic director, collaborated with designer and artist Stephen Sprouse. Jacobs planted the seed, and the brand's subsequent talent has followed suit. Kim Jones was appointed Louis Vuitton's men's style director in 2011, Virgil Abloh as artistic director in 2018 and most recently Pharrell Williams in February of 2023.
LOUIS VUITTON AND STEPHEN SPROUSE
For the Louis Vuitton Spring Summer 2001 collection, Marc Jacobs enlisted designer and artist Stephen Sprouse to lend his pop sensibilities to the Louis Vuitton logo, resulting in a freehand graffiti-like scrawl which would go on to adorn the house’s classic luggage styles. Marc Jacobs told Sarah Mower of Vogue that the collaboration was “anti-snob snobbism”. The designer rustled the feathers of the historic brand’s house codes through the collaboration with Sprouse, a fervent disruptor of fashion's status quo.
For the opening of the Women’s ready-to-wear show, a procession of hotel baggage porters carrying armfuls of Louis Vuitton Stephen Sprouse luggage led the models onto the runway, an attention-grabbing performance elegantly realised.
Jacobs set a precedent of great disruption and high demand for Louis Vuitton collaborations which would set the brand on course for its highly successful collection with Supreme. Louis Vuitton X Stephen Sprouse is still one of the most sought-after collaborations in the brand’s history.
THE KAYNE WEST LOUIS VUITTON DON
Ye West, formerly Kanye, has been on the minds of fashion tastemakers and consumers for all the wrong reasons as of late, a controversial character who has made anti-semitic comments. Separating the art from the artist for a moment, it would be an oversight to ignore West’s 2009 sneaker collaboration with Louis Vuitton, as a key moment in the brand's history.
The Louis Vuitton x Kanye West Jasper Patchwork sneaker, named after the rapper’s barber, is still a highly coveted pair of footwear, particularly in the grey, brown and pink colourway.
SUPREME X LOUIS VUITTON
In 2017, Style Director for Louis Vuitton Menswear: Kim Jones, fused heritage and hype in Louis Vuitton’s first and only Supreme collaboration to date, with an autumn winter collection titled ‘Friends and Heroes’ featuring several Supreme branded Louis Vuitton bags in red and black taurillon leather and monogram canvas.
Denim jackets and baseball jerseys saw the iconic Supreme box logo meet the Louis Vuitton Monogram print. Belt accessories and scarves bore Supreme’s branding also. Staples of the streetwear brand, such as skateboards (with matching trunks), bandanas, bottle openers and phone cases were also co-branded, and 90s-style trainers and loafers were also featured.
Jones told Vogue that “this collection is inspired by the glory days of New York artists in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s—people like Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Julian Schnabel, Robert Mapplethorpe”. Bringing together two brands with strong logos was his version of pop art. It was looking at the “uptown-downtown social mix” of his favourite era that set this collaboration in motion.
LOUIS VUITTON MASTERS: LOUIS VUITTON X JEFF KOOMS.
Contemporary Modern artist Jeff Koons collaborated with the House of LouisVuitton in 2017, the first artist to redesign the iconic LV monogram pattern.
The collection saw classic paintings, which Koons had used for his ‘Gazing Ball’ art collection, printed onto Louis Vuitton leather, seen on the Neverfull MM and Speedy Bandouliere bag styles. Artworks from Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Rubens, Titan and Fragonard made up the first instalment of the collaboration in April of 2017, with Manet, Monet, Turner, Boucher, Gauguin and Poussin the second, their names pinned to the leather bags in metallic gold lettering.
LOUIS VUITTON X VIRGIL ABLOH X NIKE
The late Virgil Abloh had been a key player in the collaboration space long before his appointment as artistic director for Louis Vuitton menswear in 2018; with his brand Off-White. His last sneaker collaboration with Nike was particularly special: released Posthumus, the Louis Vuitton Air Force 1 was the perfect symbiosis of high fashion elegance and the conspicuous consumption of street culture. 47 bespoke Air Force 1’s were created for Louis Vuitton’s Spring Summer 2022 collection.
Abloh had been inspired by the legendary Harlem designer ‘Dapper Dan’ who created Louis Vuitton Air Force 1’s for DJ E-Z Rock in 1988. Abloh’s extensive collection for Louis Vuitton featured handmade iterations of the famous sneaker silhouette in the house’s luxury leathers. The collaboration marked a first for Nike: an authentic Air Force 1 being manufactured outside of Nike factories. Virgil Abloh’s Louis Vuitton Air Force 1 collaboration leaves a fitting legacy for the designer for whom reportage, reconstruction and quality were so important.