Snob Essentials

Louis Vuitton celebrates 30 years in Japan with Comme des Garçons




Speedy bag – Limited editionI guess this is called wearable art? I don’t really understand what all the straps are supposed to be but then again, I am not very avant-garde.

Press release from Louis Vuitton:

A beguiling and individual vision of luxury will take shape when Louis Vuitton opens an impermanent store inside Comme des Garçons in Tokyo on 4th September 2008.

The idea for the project emerged from the memories of Comme des Garçons founder Rei Kawakubo. In 1978, as a young designer, she saw the first Louis Vuitton store to open in Japan and was fascinated by the image of French craftsmanship and art de vivre it projected – a luxury that seemed to her, at the time, unattainable. Three decades on, Rei Kawakubo wanted to revisit her impressions, and so the association between Comme des Garçons and Louis Vuitton was born. Intriguingly, Louis Vuitton is celebrating this year its 30th anniversary in Japan.

Rei Kawakubo has dedicated and re-designed the entire Comme des Garçons store on Kottodori, Omotesando especially for Louis Vuitton for the duration of the project, from 4th September through mid-December, into a space that will be a celebration of the Louis Vuitton Monogram. The fruit of this unprecedented collaboration – an exclusive collection of six one-off bags – will be presented in a minimalist space, at the centre of which will be a display of historic Louis Vuitton trunks. Inspired by her memories, Rei Kawakubo chose the legendary Monogram canvas to create two Party bags, small evening purses with outsized natural leather handles. The designer also customized two classic Louis Vuitton bags, endowing the Papillon with kawaii animal charms and the Mini HL with multiple slender handles. Lastly, Louis Vuitton is reediting two iconic designs from the 1970s – the Petit Marceau and the Sac 2 Poches – which Rei Kawakubo is likely to have seen in the windows of that first Louis Vuitton store.

The bags will only be available upon order, which is only to be placed at the “Louis Vuitton at Comme des Garçons store”. No telephone or Internet orders will be taken. In return, customers will receive a certificate inside a special card holder in Louis Vuitton’s traditional natural leather, embossed with the Louis Vuitton at Comme des Garçons signature. Only several months later will their bag be delivered to their chosen Louis Vuitton store. Other iconic Louis Vuitton Monogram bags, such as the Speedy and Alma chosen by Rei Kawakubo, will also be on display and available for immediate sale inside this special “Louis Vuitton at Comme des Garçons” store.

Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton Artistic Director, who has long been an admirer of Comme des Garçons, comments: “It is impossible to overstate Rei Kawakubo’s influence on modern fashion. I find it wonderful to think that, thirty years ago, this immense talent, someone who has inspired so many others, was inspired by Louis Vuitton, and now that inspiration has now been realized.”

Yves Carcelle, Chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton, says: “This project not only brings a new meaning to luxury, but also speaks volumes about how the know-how and heritage of Louis Vuitton have always been perceived in Japan, including by its foremost designers. We are very proud to have been able to help Rei Kawakubo relive her memories in such an original and creative way.”

Rei Kawakubo, President of Comme des Garçons, says: “These are party bags to celebrate the 30 years of Louis Vuitton in Japan. In designing them, I have kept Louis Vuitton’s traditional concept as it is, but sometimes two handles become one, sometimes two handles become eight… It has been a remarkably exciting opportunity for me to have been able to participate in Louis Vuitton’s traditional design and heritage.”

Photos courtesy of Louis Vuitton



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  1. How you’re suppose to carry this then? Won’t all those handles get in the way? This seems to be the smallest Speedy,so yeah,it’s a party bag but I just can’t picture the party outfit that would go with this or in fact any other monogram bag. You gotta be someone like Agnes Deyn to carry off the look.

  2. think it’ll work if the straps can ‘fall over’ the side of the bag. then you’ll be able to choose which length you want and let the other straps dangle over the side. but it’s not for me :oP

  3. I nearly commented a few weeks back, when Tina remarked that while she couldn’t carry a large handbag without looking overwhelmed, she was comforted by the fact that at least she wore a size 0. My thoughts then were, if that’s what you’re living for, well, maybe I should find a blogger a bit more profound for my fashion news.

    But I bit my tongue. It’s her blog. She can have as trivial a set of priorities as she’d like. Even if it pains me to see another woman living up to the shallow stereotype of vapid women in fashion.

    But this post was the final straw. I’m not sure how one doesn’t “understand what the straps are supposed to be” on what is obviously an art concept purse.

    They’re supposed to be straps, hon. Straps with a bit of exaggeration and quirk for the purpose of art.

    I can understand not liking them; hell, art isn’t worth much if it doesn’t offend people. But not understanding them? How does one not understand that it’s supposed to be art?

    It reminds me of every negative stereotype of the fashion woman, saying in a valley girl voice, “I don’t, like, get it.”

    I’m certain these comments are moderated — the fact that the comments are only adoring and envious suggest that only sycophancy will be accepted. And so I’m certain no reader will ever read this.

    But know that this is one reader who is disappointed in Bag Snob. And no, I’m not a fattie who’s jealous of Tina’s size 0 life (I wear a size 4, thanks). I’m just a woman who takes my brain as seriously as I do my fashion, and I’m sad when other women don’t do the same.

  4. Elizabeth, get over yourself. I am sick of people in fashion who pretend to have profound understanding of ridiculous creations like this.

    I come to Bag Snob for entertainment and they entertain us well with their honest and clever posts.

    I also find it refreshing that Tina is not afraid to say what 99.99% of us are thinking which is “what the hell is this?”.

  5. Hi Elizabeth,

    The blog is a fun and creative outlet for me, I apologize if you find me vapid and shallow.

    As for moderating the comments, if you read Bag Snob in the last 60 days, you will have read about the drama with the auto publishing of comments. We had numerous abusive comments from readers who used names of high profile people in the fashion business who discovered the identity fraud and asked us to remove those comments.

    We had to remove auto publishing last week

    But please do not think we only publish adoring comments. I am glad you voiced your opinion. I had no idea I sounded so vapid and shallow in my posts. I will be more responsible in my entries in the future 🙂

  6. Elizabeth, I don’t think you have used your brain on this occasion-this is hardly art,art was Rembrandt,Van Gogh,etc..This is a BAG. With few straps added on and a huge price tag. Oh,actually I am wrong-you don’t have to use your brain to figure THAT out. You’re tired of vain people,I am tired of people who think they know art. You clearly don’t.

  7. I am goingwith Lina here, Elizabeth is the one who sounds vapid. anyone who thinks they understand the profound meaning of anything, including art, is a moron.

    it reminds me of the tale of the foolish king who asked if everyone liked his new clothes when he wasn’t wearing any. all the idiots in his kingdom pretended to see the clothes, too. I imagine if Tina was there, she would ask “what clothes? you are not wearing any you old fool”.

  8. I was telling a friend about the comment made by Elizabeth and she laughed and said “the name of this blog is Bag Snob, not A Dissertation of Modern Art in Fashion”

    My friend not only has a Master Degree in Fine Art, she is the Director of a Fashion Museum. She doesn’t take herself too seriously and she does not expect to find enlightenment from a blog.

  9. Holy moly, could you have warned us of the eyesore we’d face when we clicked in? You guys can call this optical art or whatever you want but I call it hideous.

    You say you can choose different handles to carry, how are those other clumsy handles going to hang? I’ll tell you, not well. They are stiff and bulky!

  10. Art or not, i think this is one really, really ugly, almost scary bag. I love almost all the ‘limited-edition’ Speedies but this one is just scary. Where can we see their other CDG pieces online? I hope there is something really nice.

  11. I know who the bag was made for. a giant octopus with 8 tentacles, each of which will have its own handle when carrying this bag.

    this is a seriously bizarre looking bag.

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