And they're true works of art
There has been a huge increase in popularity for Louis Vuitton collaboration handbags lately, and it’s fair to say the hype around Jeff Koons’ latest partnership is to blame! The iconic Louis Vuitton brand has an always been a leader in innovation, having been globally reputed for its contemporary iterarions. Take the Cherry Blossom Monogramm bags by Takashi Murakami for example – these bags are especially made for people who’ve perhaps had enough of the classic monogramm canvas, but still want to stay true to the Louis Vuitton heritage.
While the instant buzz of a limited edition handbag is invaluable, demand for very unique or rare bags can fluctuate due to craze or trends in the retail landscape. However, thanks to the large part of its popular LV monogram, with even the most classic styles retaining at least 70% of their average retail value at re-sale, nothing says ‘investment’ better than a brand that remains true to its heritage, whilst also looking to the future.
In championing the likes of Fragonard, Rubens and Titian on timeless classics such as the Neverfull Shopper, the Speedy Handbag and the Keepall Weekend Travel Bag, the world’s most valuable luxury brand has sparked a renewed consumer interest, with second-hand items sold in under 10 minutes via Rebelle.com just last weekend.
As Koons’ latest work joins some of the most seminal artists of our time, here are our top five Louis Vuitton collaborations…
Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama
Bold, playful and not for the faint-hearted, Louis Vuitton unveiled the Yayoi Kusama collection in 2012. Featuring the Japanese artist’s signature bold spots, covering everything from ready-to-wear to handbags and accessories, the collection sought to capture the ‘endless energy’ in an everlasting world. New, the Louis Vuitton Yayoi Kusama Lockit MM retailed at just under £3,000 and resale value could go up to anything near £2,000 depending on size and condition – so it’s worth looking after!
Louis Vuitton x Stephen Sprouse
The very first of the artistic collaborations for Vuitton was with Steven Sprouse in 2001 to create his now-iconic graffiti bags. The collaboration was so successful, the two teamed up for a second time in 2008 to rework the very same graffiti print by splashing it on to anything from neon monogram wallets to handbags and scarves with a spectacular effect. The collection (from £175 to £2,555) marked the beginning of a series of collaborations between contemporary art and commerce, culminating in everything from Chanel’s Mobile Art Project to Dolce & Gabbana’s splatter-painted ball gowns.
Louis Vuitton x Takashi Murakami
Takashi Murakami’s signature cartoon-like motifs are as evident in his wildly successful Louis Vuitton collaboration as they are in his art, seen here in the Cherry Monogram Sac. Murakami collaborated with the French fashion house several times throughout the 2000s, producing many famous Vuitton prints like Cherry Blossoms and the instantly recognisable Monogram Multicolore. Since discontinuing the collection in 2015, the value of the bags has steadily increased – ten years ago you could buy the bag for £1,600. The same bag now retails for just over £1,000 at resale!
Louis Vuitton x Richard Prince
One of Louis Vuitton’s most iconic and successful collaborations to date, the Richard Prince collection was unveiled in 2008 as a nod to Prince’s famous ‘Nurse’ paintings. The bags themselves feature the artist’s water colour and spray painting worked over a reimagined, washed out monogram canvas with ornate snakeskin and leather piping details. In mint condition, the bags could sell for anything up to £1,700, with popularity increasing following a reference to Richard Prince in Raf Simons’ debut campaign for Calvin Klein.
Louis Vuitton x Julie Verhoeven
In 2002, Louis Vuitton teamed up with fashion illustrator and British artist Julie Verhoeven to create a series of mini clutches and tote bags to accompany his spring/summer ready-to-wear collection. Her patchwork prints carefully adorned the boxy style bags, adding a dark kind of whimsy to the already pretty whimsical presentation – think deep Monogram satin with patchwork of leather, fur and snakeskin. While the bags went fairly below the mainstream consumer radar, an original from this collection is extremely rare and makes for a truly unique and vintage accessory.
In case you hadn’t noticed, these works of art are well worth investing in, especially as we recently found out an iconic handbag can be a better investment than gold or the stock market.
Worth it or not, one thing’s for sure, they’ll totally elevate your wardrobe.