Vuitton goes positively dotty

Art July 13, 2012 00:00

By Kupluthai Pungkanon
The Natio

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The new store at Siam Paragon has the new Kusama collection

Louis Vuitton’s new store at Siam Paragon gets into full swing by previewing the new Yayoi Kusama collection from today.

This collection is a result of a collaboration between Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama and Marc Jacobs, who is interpreting Kusama’s most emblematic artworks.
Inspired by the avant-garde artist, who is also known as Princess of Polka Dots, the comprehensive collection features everything from ready-to-wear to accessories like textiles and sunglasses to leather goods and shoes. 
Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton’s creative director, is a long-time admirer of the artist, especially of her endless energy and her painstaking obsession with the canvases and installations she has created.
“I guess that’s why I admire her, that’s why I love her, and that’s why I respond to her in terms of feelings for her and for her work,” he says. “I think of the world as if it is one big spot and 
 Vuitton certainly has outlets and fans all around the world. I expect to bring the work of Kusuma to still another audience that’s the audience of Louis Vuitton. It continues something I began when I came here, which is the idea of collaborating with artists. It’s wonderful the way contemporary art changes the environment. Many people who don’t go to art galleries and may not be aware of Kusama’s work but will come to appreciate her through the eyes of Vuitton.”
Now in her early 80s, Kusama is considered Japan’s greatest living artist. She is currently the subject of a retrospective organised by the Tate Modern that will open at the Whitney Museum this month. 
Fans of Vuitton in Thailand can find the latest collection at the LV’s newest store, which opened officially last week. The ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by a wealth of VIP guests including actors and actresses, models, and socialites. Jean-Baptiste Debains, president of LV Asia Pacific, says the label has no fixed rule as to when and where they will open new stores but prefers countries with whom they have a history, such as Thailand, where they’ve had a presence for 28 years. “We develop a very good relationship with our customers. They understand our values and our craftsmanship,” he notes. “We are proud to have opened our fourth store. For us, Paragon is a very important step and it will attract a younger clientele as well as tourists. This is a strong addition to our strategy here.”
Rachaya Veerapong, general manager of LV Thailand, says the new store is also home to an after-sales centre, reflecting its commitment to superior service. 
Debains find the new Jacobs-Kusama collaboration fascinating. “People often ask who will be the next artist. That’s not quite how it works. It’s really up to Marc, as creative director - the fact that he feels there is a connection and that something can be done. Marc has always liked Kusama as an artist. The first time he met her was seven or eight years ago when he went to Japan. Personally I like Kusama, both because it’s simple aesthetically but, when you get to know her more, you realise there is a very deep dimension to it. The LV and artist collaboration allows us to bring art to a larger public. I’m looking forward to see the product in store and on the street,” he says. 
See interview of Marc Jacobs and more stories about Kusama at