On the outskirts of the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, inside a building curiously named Metal Bees, a small army of impeccably dressed humans guarded Louis Vuitton’s biggest — and best-kept— secret in about two years. After signing non-disclosure agreements, we were led upstairs to a room where unsurprisingly, our voices fell silent. Inside, sitting on blonde wood pedestals, was the collaboration that international artist Jeff Koons and the Louis Vuitton team knew would inspire a certain sense of shock and awe, depending on how your specific tastes run. If we weren’t sure what to expect before viewing the collection, our top secret preview didn’t exactly alleviate this inner conflict.
JEFF KOONS FOR LOUIS VUITTON
The ‘Masters’ collection, which was officially unveiled yesterday at the Louvre in Paris, is a parade of Louis Vuitton’s biggest hits — the Noe, Neverfull, Speedy — printed with the artworks of history’s greatest artists, from Da Vinci and Fragonard to Rubens and Titian. Picture the Mona Lisa’s imperious stare, plastered onto your daily leather tote, cracks et al. If you were expecting to see a metallic balloon animal, well, look out for the blue bag tag as the only obvious giveaway.