New Vuitton-Kusama collection is a frenzy of dots

SAMANTHA CRITCHELL
The Associated Press
Modified: July 13, 2012 at 6:21 pm •  Published: July 13, 2012
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photo - Pedestrians walk in front of Louis Vuitton's flagship Fifth Avneue store in New York, Tuesday, July 10, 2012, before the company unveiled windows and a collection collaboratively designed by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama and  Vuitton creative director Marc Jacobs.  (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Pedestrians walk in front of Louis Vuitton's flagship Fifth Avneue store in New York, Tuesday, July 10, 2012, before the company unveiled windows and a collection collaboratively designed by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama and Vuitton creative director Marc Jacobs. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

French fashion house Louis Vuitton is again putting a bit of Japanese culture on the arms of its customers.

The brand, best known for leather goods, formally unveiled a new collection on Tuesday created in collaboration between Yayoi Kusama and Louis Vuitton creative director Marc Jacobs. The theme is bold, graphic polka dots — a signature of the artist — offered in a frenzied series of sizes and colors.

Jacobs and Kusama started with inspiration of "obsession and seriality," according to a company statement.

The dots cover shoes, handbags, shirts, skirts and sunglasses, among other items.

Jacobs met Kusama in 2006. He is an avid art collector and was a fan of Kusama's sculptures and paintings. "The obsessive character and the innocence of her artwork touch me," Jacobs said.

In honor of the new products, Louis Vuitton created a splashy display for the brand's flagship Manhattan store on Fifth Avenue that pays homage to three Kusama motifs: "Beginning of the Universe," ''Eternal Blooming Flowers in My Mind" and "Self-Obliteration." The building facade is wrapped in a pattern of dots.

The timing of the product launch and building installation coincides with the Whitney Museum of American Art's new exhibition of Kusama's work.

A decade ago, Jacobs and Louis Vuitton had great success collaborating with Japanese designer Takashi Murakami on a series of pop-art products that became instant must-haves among the fashion crowd and spawned a seemingly infinite number of mass-market items covered in similar-style rainbow-colored monograms and logos.



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