Of the legacy brands in luxury fashion that are still in operation, there's no denying that Louis Vuitton is one of the most recognised. The French maison has been around since 1854 (that's 167 years to date) but its founder and namesake, Louis Vuitton himself, was born 200 years ago in 1821.
True to form, the maison is pulling out all the stops to celebrate the founder's bicentennial birthday. Louis 200 is set to be a reiteration of Vuitton's legacy as well as a celebration of his life. And just like the multi-hyphenate that he is—Vuitton was an adventurer, entrepreneur, designer, and innovator—Louis 200 is a rather eclectic mix of both traditional and new media initiatives.
The running thread across all of them is the spirit of collaboration. It's an element that's been central to the maison, harkening back to its history of creating bespoke trunks and creations for clients. For Louis 200, more than 200 different individuals have been asked to be involved and in various capacities.
We list down two of the highlights that have already kicked off and set to run throughout the month and beyond.
200 visionaries and 200 trunks
Arguably the most impressive part of Louis 200 involves a Louis Vuitton icon—the trunk—and 200 visionaries. The latter consist groups and individuals of various disciplines spanning all manners of artistic expressions as well as more niche profiles such as an astrologer, a Paralympic swimmer, an astronaut, and an aviation engineer. Familiar names such as Sou Foujimoto, Stephen Sprouse, Lego, and house ambassadors BTS, are in the mix too.
This specific project gave free play to the visionaries involved to interpret a box measuring 50 x 50 x 100 centimetres (the approximate dimensions of Vuitton's first trunk in the 1850s). They were given little to no restrictions, with mediums of choice ranging from more tangible forms to augmented reality.
The interpretations will then be part of window displays the world over and translated in three different ways depending on the size of each Louis Vuitton boutique. On windows of the flagships, a screen-panelled trunk floats mid-air with the different creations displayed as an ongoing video loop. A second iteration will see the trunks fashioned into robot-like figures. And the last format of display will be unveiled on 21 August 2021, consisting of printed layers of the creations which will then be shared with customers or used as packaging each day.
Beyond the artistic displays, Louis Vuitton has also pledged to donate EUR10,000 in the name of each visionary, to one of 15 non-profit organisations. The final pledged amount will total EUR2 million and will benefit organisations championing arts and creativity across 13 countries.
An adventure-driven game with NTFs
Take on the role of the maison's iconic Vivienne in Louis The Game. The goal is for the mascot to reach an in-game festive birthday destination, and along the way, travel through six different imaginary worlds inspired by a number of real-world fashion capitals. Choose between two variations of the character (a choice between two Louis Vuitton backpacks), and progress by collecting monogram candles and keys to access new areas.
And of course, there's quite a bit of trivia and anecdotes relating to the maison and its founder peppered throughout—all packaged within the impressive colour treatments and design of Louis The Game.
What's especially interesting is the integration of blockchain technology. The game includes 30 NFTs of which 10 have been created by famed digital artist Beeple.