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Louis Vuitton’s Monogram

Pattern breakers.

NUVO Magazine Winter 2014: Inquiring Minds, Louis Vuitton

Breakers of cherished traditions: iconoclasts. Legendary French maison Louis Vuitton has welcomed six creative revolutionaries from varying fields—Christian Louboutin, Cindy Sherman, Frank Gehry, Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Newson, and Rei Kawakubo—to give their interpretation of the signature LV monogram for a series of bags and trunks in celebration of the brand’s 160th birthday. The collaborative project, the Icon and the Iconoclasts: Celebrating Monogram, is an initiative led by executive vice-president Delphine Arnault and artistic director Nicolas Ghesquière.

The collection, which launched in October, is a tribute to the roots of Louis Vuitton. In 1854 Louis Vuitton founded his house. In 1896, his son Georges Vuitton created the monogram motif. This new collection echoes a previous collaboration from the 1996 centenary, where the likes of Azzedine Alaïa, Helmut Lang, and Manolo Blahnik contributed distinct (albeit less liberated) designs.

The Icon and the Iconoclasts: Celebrating Monogram includes limited-edition pieces like Louboutin’s Parisian-inspired Shopping Trolley, Gehry’s Twisted Box with hand-drawn embossed interior, and Lagerfeld’s Punching Bag. “There are various ways of breaking [the status quo] to create something new,” says Kawakubo, who designed the Bag with Holes. “I feel that Louis Vuitton is the house that most beautifully and skilfully transforms what is tradition into what is now.” Although the monogram is a global icon, it remains a deeply personal signature of the house—something worth venerating.