New York will be seeing a lot of dots in the next few days. The highly-anticipated retrospective of the legendary Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama opens tomorrow at the Whitney Museum of American Art and to add to the Kusama mania, Louis Vuitton is releasing its collaboration with the artist and rolling out its first Kusama-themed pop-up shop on the same day. Just ahead of the debut, the French fashion house unveiled the capsule collection’s look book.
Kusama’s signature motif – polka dots — show up throughout the collection, marking handbags, scarves, trench coats, sunglasses, bangles, skirts, and more. The brand referenced the artist’s electric-hued wigs by giving the model showcasing the bold and vibrant line the same hairstyle. Even Kusama’s iconic pumpkin sculpture makes an appearance — as a purse dangling from a shoulder strap.
“It’s really charming. It has the essence of the spirit of her work,” Louis Vuitton creative director Marc Jacobs told WWD last May, going on to call the Louis Vuitton monogram and Kusama’s dots “timeless and endless.”
The octogenarian artist and Jacobs share a mutual admiration for one another.
“Marc Jacobs’s sincere attitude towards art is the same as my own,” Kusama told the Cut. “I respect him as a wonderful designer. Louis Vuitton understands and appreciates the nature of my art. Therefore there isn’t much difference from my process of making fashion.”
The first of seven pop-up shops dedicated to the Kusama collection across Asia, Europe, and the United States will open in New York tomorrow inside Louis Vuitton’s SoHo boutique. In addition, the brand and W magazine will host a preview at the Whitney tomorrow evening, in celebration of the artist’s exhibition at the museum.
The Yayoi Kusama for Louis Vuitton collection marks the first artist collaboration with the brand since 2008, when it revisited its 2001 Stephen Sprouse graffiti-covered line. Richard Prince and Takashi Murakami have partnered up with French luxury label in the past, with Prince marking handbags in the same style as his dreamy nurse paintings and Murakami covering them with his smiling cartoon flowers.