In 2003, Takashi Murakami unveiled his particular interpretation of the iconic Louis Vuitton logo, rendered in the Pop artist’s signature colour palette on a clean white background. The Multicoloured monogram became an instant hit, toted by major celebrities of the period. But now this highly-lucrative Louis Vuitton/Murakami collaboration will come to an end this month, the company has announced.
The artist’s collaboration with the fashion house also included a number of other designs, including the Monogramouflage, Cherry Blossom, and Character Bag collections, each work offering fresh and playful spins on the brand’s iconography. But to the surprise of Murakami collectors there is only two weeks until all Murakami merchandise will be removed from Louis Vuitton stores.
Creative director Nicolas Ghesquière, who took the reins after Marc Jacobs left the renowned fashion house in 2013 to focus on his own line, has not made a statement on the house’s decision to stop working with Murakami. Instead the brand prefers to “look forward,” that is, according to a widely-cited statement.
In 2000, the artist published his “Superflat” theory in the catalogue for a group exhibition of the same name that he curated for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Murakami’s theory posits that there is a cultural legacy of flat, 2-dimensional imagery which has existed throughout Japanese art history and now continues through contemporary manga and anime.
Louis Vuitton collaborated with photographer Cindy Sherman in its “Celebrating Monogram” collection in honour of the company’s 160th anniversary in 2014. Stephen Sprouse, Richard Prince, and Yayoi Kusama are among the other prominent artists who have worked with the famous brand.