S/S 2001: The first colaborative collection between Stephen Sprouse and Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton was revealed.
The story of Marc Jacobs, Stephen Sprouse, and Louis Vuitton began in the late ’90s, when Jacobs found himself thinking about Marcel Duchamp, the French artist who once sullied an image of the Mona Lisa with a funny little beard and mustache and called it L.H.O.O.Q., which, if you say the letters fast in French, roughly translates to “she has a hot ass.”
“It’s about taking something that’s very iconic and revered and defacing it and creating something new, somewhat rebellious, and kind of punk,” Jacobs explains. “Cut from Marcel Duchamp to me going to see Charlotte Gainsbourg’s apartment,” he continues. “She had, by the side of her bed, a Louis Vuitton trunk that had been painted black by her father, and the Monogram was sort of peeking through.”
Suddenly it was very clear what Jacobs needed to do. He needed to deface the revered and iconic Monogram canvas, and he needed to do it in a way that was modern enough to attract a new customer to the big old French brand. To do this, he reasoned, he needed Stephen Sprouse.
The parallels are difficult to ignore: “He had this desire to take what he saw in the streets and elevate it,” Jacobs says of Sprouse. “He was using all this stuff that was so costly, really beautiful materials, and he was doing it all so beautifully. There are so many people who try to affect a street style, but it doesn’t have the integrity. Stephen’s work was so stylistic, and it had street cred. You can’t calculate that. You have it or you don’t, and Stephen did.”
Vuitton did reach a new customer ÔÇö $300 million worth of them, Jacobs has said ÔÇö and has continued to do so through similar partnerships with artists like Takashi Murakami and Richard Prince. Each of these bags has been a triumph. They have been shown ÔÇö and sold! ÔÇö in fine-art museums.
Stephen Sprouse died in 2004 at the too-young age of 50.
F/W 06/07: Marc Jacobs made his first tribute to Sprouse by using a leopard print design they had devised together.
S/S 2009: Saw the launch of the latest tribute collection ‘roses’
“It’s an homage,” Jacobs says of the new collection, which features clothing, bags, and other accessories. It’s a limited release, timed to coincide with the opening of a Sprouse retrospective at Deitch Projects this month in New York and the publication of Rizzoli’s The Stephen Sprouse Book. “Stephen was one of the first people to deliberately eliminate the boundaries between fashion, art, music, and design,” says gallerist Jeffrey Deitch. It was Deitch who approached Jacobs and Vuitton with the idea for the collection. “And product,” he says, “is a great way to get a message across.”
Louis Vuitton is one of the most counterfeited brands in the fashion world due to its image as a status symbol. Only a small fraction of products bearing the LV initials in the general population are authentic. Ironically, the signature Monogram Canvas was created to prevent counterfeiting. In 2004, Louis Vuitton fakes accounted for 18% of counterfeit accessories seized in the EU.
The company takes counterfeiting seriously, and employs a team of lawyers and special investigation agencies, actively pursuing offenders through the courts worldwide, and allocating about half of its budget of communications to counteract piracy of its goods. LVMH (Vuitton’s parent company) further confirmed this by stating that “some 60 people at various levels of responsibility working full time on anti-counterfeiting in collaboration with a wide network of outside investigators and a team of lawyers.” In a further effort, the company closely controls the distribution of its products.Until the 1980s, Vuitton products were widely sold in department stores (e.g. Neiman Marcuss and Saks Fifth Avenue). Today, Vuitton products are primarily available at authentic Louis Vuitton boutiques, with a small number of exceptions. These boutiques are commonly found in upscale shopping districts or inside luxury department stores. The boutiques within department stores operate independently from the department and have their own LV managers and employees. LV has recently launched an online store, through its main website, as an authorized channel to market its products.
Unfortunately they are not doing enough! Ebay is awash with counterfeit scarves and I have seen people paying more for a fake than a genuine LV would cost in store! So here are some tips that may help you out.
Genuine Louis Vuitton Scarves
note the size and spacing of the graffiti print, the wording on the label and how it is attached with two simple stitches. The scarf will come in a matt black dust bag with pink lettering. Some scarves will come in a box others a carrier. The lettering on the carrier/ box should say ‘Louis Vuitton’ in basic soft, rounded text. A receipt will be produced on cream thick paper and printed with brown ink.
Note that the graffiti print is a lot smaller than on the leopard, and that this design ONLY comes in orange and pink. The colours of which are highly fluorescent.
Fakes often have card tags attached with plastic and these little yellow cards, the dust bags are often shiny in a satin-like material.
Original LV scarves do not come with authenticity cards.
See how the label is machine stitched, originals should only have two hand stitches. All original scarves will have a label.
You can now download my FREE eBook ‘A Guide to Spotting Counterfeits: including Chanel 2.55, Louis Vuitton scarves and Vivienne Westwood Pirate & clothes’ HERE
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