Fashion company Louis Vuitton has transformed many of its shops into enormous homages to the artist Yayoi Kusama and her fabulous polka dots.
In celebration of the luxury designer’s latest collaboration with the Japanese creator, many of its brick and mortar outposts have become shrines to her iconic aesthetic — not to mention Instagrammable destinations for the fashion and art-world sets.
The new year has seen wonderful art installations appear at Louis Vuitton sellers across the globe, from a Yayoi Kusama robot in New York City and a larger-than-life Yayoi Kusama sculpture in Paris — to a polka-dotted pop-up store in her native Japan.
“For the second time, Louis Vuitton has invited the preeminent Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama to a new creative encounter,” the Louis Vuitton website explains of the collaboration, alongside photos of the brand’s classic bag style — now covered in rainbow polka dots — as well as polka-dotted pants, shoes and other outfits covered in the pattern. “Showcasing Louis Vuitton’s savoir-faire, an innovative serigraphy technique reproduces Kusama’s brushstrokes, giving a strikingly realistic hand-painted 3D effect. Applied by hand, one-by-one, various sized metal half spheres enliven a selection of pieces in the collection with a stunning silver mirror effect.”
The collab’s Kusama-themed landing page also includes a quote from the 93-year-old, who has voluntarily lived at a mental hospital in Tokyo since 1977. “I am determined to create a Kusama world, which no one has ever done and trodden into,” she said.
The storefront promotion for her new line with the retailer certainly serves to self-actualize this: On the Upper East Side, an eerily human-looking Kusama robot currently paints dots on the inside of a picture window. Meanwhile, a Godzilla-sized Kusama simultaneously applies dots to the Louis Vuitton Paris headquarters and her polka-dotted face looms over Tokyo from a billboard on high.
A new pop-up space in the Meatpacking District also offers New Yorkers the opportunity to shop the collaboration while surrounded by mirrored balls reminiscent of Kusama’s years-popular Infinity Mirror Rooms experience.
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.