Louis Vuitton Foulards d’Artistes: AIKO

Since 1854, when the house was created, Louis Vuitton has never stopped nurturing the relationship between craftsmanship and design. Many artists, from Stephen Sprouse to Yayoi Kusama, from Takashi Murakami to Richard Prince, under the impetus of Marc Jacobs, have collaborated on special projects, making a bag, scarf, or shoe into a desirable collector’s item.

For Spring-Summer 2013, Louis Vuitton has invited three personalities emerging from the street art to give a new look to the house’s emblematic models. Under their impetus, the giant silk scarf, the stole and regular silk scarf devote themselves to a new look, with inscriptions and colours bursting with style and energy. Items from women’s wardrobes to wear on any occasion: for a casual arty style that opens the doors to any location, at any time in our lives. A colourful invitation to travel far and wide, in three acts: AIKO, Os Gemeos & RETNA.


Four Season Giant Square by Aiko for Louis VuittonFour Season Giant Square by AIKO for Louis Vuitton

This Japanese artist was born in Tokyo, but has lived and worked in New York since the mid-1990s. She trained in the studio of Murakami, before giving many performances in the streets and galleries of Manhattan, where she has since been known as Lady AIKO (literally Love). From the Shanghai MOCA (China) to PS1/MOMA in New York, her work is an expression of Urban Pop culture. From giant rabbits to naked pin-up girls under their butterfly masks, her pop style with its manga inspiration is a combination of many techniques and materials – drawing, collages, spray, pigments, etc. – bringing together elements from Western culture with those from Asian culture. No fewer than 62 colours constitute the Carré that AIKO has created for Louis Vuitton, with a mix and match of references, combining traditional kimono motifs: circles (for night oceans), four peonies (the four seasons), the double chain (symbol of luck and prosperity), with heightened emotion through the presence of a leopard, and a woman, the artist’s iconic motif, the symbol of beauty and love.

“With my street stencils, I wanted to collage graffiti tags, paint drips, Japanese motifs and Louis Vuitton’s Monogram with a Leopard pattern to create AIKO and Louis Vuitton’s special scarf…(…) My scarf is a piece of fine art using a skilful print technique with high quality silk material, it is extremely collectable.”

Four Season Giant Square by AIKO for Louis Vuitton is available at Louis Vuitton stores for US$780.

Four Season Giant Square by Aiko for Louis VuittonFour Season Giant Square by AIKO for Louis Vuitton

The logo becomes a signature

Remixed traditional Japanese codes, a mystical alphabet, a micro-moon mosaic… The arty palette is adorned with tradition to enhance a look, a scarf that is ready to slip around your neck, like a talisman, going beyond gender, borders and generations. An art culture that has been so dear to Louis Vuitton since its first collaboration with the artist Stephen Sprouse in 2001.

On this occasion, Louis Vuitton overhauls the patterns created by Stephen Sprouse in new colors and sizes while a Monogram shawl gets an arty overprinted style, with contrasting juxtaposed colour blocks.

“To my eyes, AIKO, Os Gemeos & RETNA, represent the most complete and original expression of the emerging art scene which is coming out of street culture. They transcend their original universe and occupy their places as artists in their own right. Their visual language is expressed in a different way. Retna has painted planes and cars, Os Gemeos has worked on musical instruments, Aiko on clothing. Through the Louis Vuitton project, they have all applied themselves to an exercise of style. A mastery of fusion between creation and tradition, their imaginary world and the technical constraints of production,” Jeffrey Deitch, the new director of MOCA Los Angeles, and an exhibition commissioner.

Images via Louis Vuitton