Louis Vuitton decides that street art is couture

March 27th, 2013 | By | 3 Comments »

It’s not my intention to shame artists who collaborate with labels and “big brands” to support themselves, however I feel that there is a distinct line between using a brand’s notoriety to proliferate one’s own art and “selling out”. D*Face is an example of good corpo-collaboration as he seemed to have a lot of freedom when he worked with Smirnoff on a project which allowed him to do things he would have never been able to do on his own. By definition, selling out is what happens when an artist is willing to compromise their personal goals (i.e. propagating a message, promoting a distinct style, nurturing certain ideas/reactions, etc.) because of cash cash cash cash cash.

Louis Vuitton has invited Aiko, Os Gemeos and Retna to help design a series of scarves. Aiko refers to her work as having a graffiti influence and says ,”We break the law with wildstyle”, which seemed a bit ironic given that she is the only artist involved who does not come from a graffiti background and yet was the only artist to mention such things. As one commenter says, “Just waiting for Kidult to hear about this…” 12ozProphet has an interesting little read on some more examples of graffiti in couture, including a previous line from Louis Vuitton. Similarly, Krink and Coach will be releasing a collaborative line of bags this spring. That might just be coincidental timing or it maybe it was some Devil Wears Prada-esque trend carefully planned by the cigar smoking board members of some fashion-world back room.

Who do you think will buy these products?

Do you think they will know the significance or want to learn more about the artists?


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  • http://www.facebook.com/thefree.humanity TheFree Humanity

    i think people opinions don’t make much a difference in the art world

  • http://www.facebook.com/rhiannon.platt Rhiannon Platt

    Caroline you are pumping out the choice articles this week! I could see these artist scarves reaching one of two demographics. 1) rich people who care only about a label and think the work looks ~kewl and sew edgy 2) rich collectors who will rush out to get said scarves because they are really into whatever artist is featured.

    However, this is not without irony. I didn’t realize that Aiko’s scarf had that text attached. It was very astute of you to point out and completely changes how I view these. I would also be a bad Marxist if I didn’t throw the word “commodify” in here somewhere.

  • Timothy Leary