The fourth of August 1821 marked the birth of Louis Vuitton, the founder of the eponymous French malletier. On his 200th birthday, the luxury house announced the launch of Louis 200, a series of creativity initiatives featuring collaborators across the globe, highlighting how the visionary spirit of Louis lives on.
While the previous activations have been undeniably fascinating, the upcoming Louis Vuittonʼs 200 Trunks, 200 Visionaries: The Exhibition takes the cake, transcending the typical tribute. Following its debut in Asnières, France, the exhibition will make its first international stop in the little red dot from 4 to 27 April, before travelling to Beijing, Tokyo, New York and London.
A mixture of talents and friends of the fashion house converged for this project. They were invited to personalise the emblematic Louis Vuitton trunk and create their own versions. With these visionaries coming from all walks of life, we can expect abstract concepts and dreamlike expressions.
Familiar names and brands like BTS, Supreme, Hypebeast, Lego, Liu Wei, Peter Marino, Cao Fei and Fornasetti started with a metaphorical blank canvas measuring 50 x 50 x 100 centimetres, approximately the dimensions of the original trunk designed by Monsieur Louis Vuitton in the 1850s.
Faye McLeod, Louis Vuittonʼs visual image director, highlighted that “this project has always been about creativity, a real tribute to Louisʼ ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit. We get to see how such a cross-section of talents answered the same brief while also taking a moment to appreciate the man himself.”
Transplanted to Marina Bay, adjacent to the Louis Vuitton MBS outlet, the exhibition in Singapore will begin in a briefing room panelled in LED screens. The first main space recalls a warehouse, where original art pieces are juxtaposed with screen-panelled magic trunks and a robot-trunk named Monsieur Louis, a futuristic transfiguration, displaying digital pieces.
In keeping with the maison’s circular creativity eff orts, the physical trunks are stacked randomly atop their assigned shipping crates, where they will continue their global journey in. Then, visitors will be led to an open dreamscape panorama before the circuit ends with two dedicated rooms.
First, an interactive space featuring the trunk by BTS, each member contributing one side. In a bid to off er a more interactive experience, these designs have been reproduced on the walls with space for visitors to add their own creations. Finally, the last stop is an audio speakeasy that features a functioning 200-track jukebox trunk by British DJ and producer Benji B.
Before leaving, visitors can indulge in video interviews and browse books in a lifestyle area. Though it is conceived to celebrate Louis Vuitton’s legacy, this project remains a philanthropic undertaking, with the visionaries directing 100 per cent of their profits to one of 15 charitable organisations across 13 countries in hopes of lifting young people through their creative endeavours. The exhibits will also be auctioned off this December by Sotheby’s, with the proceeds going to a scholarship programme that bridges inequality gaps ‒ ensuring access to artistic studies and skills development regardless of the students’ financial resources.
The Louis Vuitton 200 Trunks, 200 Visionaries exhibition is open to the public free of charge. Visitors can experience an ephemeral presentation space and discover the creations of a mosaic of talents up close after registering their interest online from 1 April.
(Images: Louis Vuitton)