Right from its early days, Louis Vuitton has had strong ties to artists and designers. Charles Frederick Worth, the founding father of haute couture, was a neighbour and friend to Louis Vuitton, and this is what made Vuitton decide to promote himself as a fashion packing specialist. Christian Dior is just one of the many designers who favoured Louis Vuitton luggage. And when Marc Jacobs took the reins as creative director and the house’s first ready-to-wear designer in 1997 he almost immediately began recruiting artists for special collaborative projects. Some of the names whose work can be seen in the exhibition include Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, Yayoi Kusama and Damien Hirst, who created a special order medical cabinet covered in butterflies that was auctioned off for the Red Cross. And of course the most recent artistic partner, Jeff Koons, whose Masters collection went meta with bags emblazoned with hero works from five of the great masters, including Leonardo da Vinci, Rubens and Vincent Van Gogh, has also earned a place in the exhibition.
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