Can fashion be art? Louis Vuitton is back for the fifth time to make the case, offering its Capucines bag as a canvas for contemporary artists Billie Zangewa, Ewa Juszkiewicz, Liza Lou, Tursic & Mille, and Ziping Wang for the latest Artycapucines collection.
“Once it leaves the workshop, it begins a life of its own, as well as it should,” said Franco-Serbian duo Tursic & Mille of their collaboration with the French luxury fashion house. Their reimagining of the Capucines bag reconceptualizes the idea of image overload, taking on a floral shape that frames a newly pigmented and embroidered rendition of a 2021 work.
Medium was also top of mind for Chinese artist, Ziping Wang. “When I first began this project, I immediately considered the bag as a moveable structure, which is designed to be seen from every angle, creating a continuous image,” she said. Her design, entitled “Sweet Tooth,” evokes the childhood bliss associated with receiving a sweet treat. Its small size yet bold design are meant as a commentary on the hypervisual world in which we live today. “I selected a few elements that I thought would adapt to the form well and printed them out. I also built a paper model of the bag using collage,” she said of her artistic process.
South African–based artist Billie Zangewa, whose perspective takes root in the repressed role of the female in the West, superimposed her work The Swimming Lesson (2020) by way of trompe l’oeil through printing, embroidery, and visible hand-stitching, while Polish artist Ewa Juszkiewicz opted for a high-definition print of her painting Ginger Locks (2021), accentuated with a string of gold pearls. Liza Lou, an American artist arguably best known for her beadwork, intentionally draped pastel beadwork embossed onto leather for her interpretation.
The Capucines bag itself, which has become a mainstay for the brand, harkens back to the brand’s beginning, when Louis Vuitton laid the groundwork for all that the house would be with his first store on Rue Neuve-des-Capucines in 1854. A century-long fascination with the intersection of fashion and art has been a through line of Louis Vuitton’s history, from Vuitton’s grandson, Gaston-Louis’s commissioning of works in the 1920s to the most recent Yayoi Kusama x Louis Vuitton collaboration.
Now, the highly limited editions of the five new bags unveiled and available today join a collection of 29, cementing Louis Vuitton’s commitment to art, once again, through new eyes.