Retail in Asia


Yayoi Kusama collaboration brings Louis Vuitton to Tokyo

As part of its second collaboration with Yayoi Kusama, Louis Vuitton has launched a takeover in Tokyo on Tuesday, which featured both physical installations and augmented reality activations.

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In 2012, the luxury brand began collaborating with Kusama, as part of its longstanding tradition of working with artists and designers, which traces back to Gaston-Louis Vuitton, the grandson of the founder.

A citywide event showcasing landmarks such as the Tokyo Tower, Zojoji Temple, and Tokyo Station will unveil the brand’s second collection with the 93-year-old Japanese artist, with plans to hit stores in January 2023.

In the buzzy Shinjuku district, an anamorphic billboard featuring an avatar of Kusama will transport viewers into a trunk decorated with the artist’s signature polka dots, along with a pumpkin-shaped hot air balloon and chrome sphere sculptures going on display at Shiba Park.

Source: Louis Vuitton

A variety of AR filters will reveal playful animations at each site, while selfie features will allow attendees to blend in with imaginary characters or dots, or try on virtual sunglasses designed by Louis Vuitton and Kusama.

Earlier in May, creative director Nicolas Ghesquière debuted handbags from the collection at the Salk Institute in San Diego, featuring hand-painted dots and metallic spheres.

In parallel with its presentation at Paris+ by Art Basel last month, Louis Vuitton will display the collection at Art Basel Miami from Thursday to Saturday. This new partnership with art fairs is riding the post-pandemic wave of social gatherings and tradeshows.

“When you’re given that opportunity to have that type of discourse and engagement with this crowd, who is still very, very hungry coming out of the pandemic, you want to contribute to that,” Michael Burke, chairman and chief executive officer of Louis Vuitton, revealed in an interview earlier this week.

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“I think before the pandemic, we were so serious in everything we did, and then having been gone for over two years, when you come back, everybody’s a little bit giddy,” Burke said.