During Men’s Fashion Week in Paris, Louis Vuitton presented its Ready-to-Wear collection which included the anticipated collaboration with NYC-based street-wear brand SUPREME.
Vuitton, a veteran of the luxury industry, has paved the way for collaborations between art and fashion. This modus operandi has become integrated in the brand’s DNA, and has led to collaborations with artists such as Takashi Murakami and Cindy Sherman, and to the opening of the “Fondation Louis Vuitton” in Paris. Vuitton supporting contemporary art so avidly creates a win-win situation – the artists gain fame and recognition and Vuitton appear fresh and relevant.
Vuitton’s recent collaboration with SUPREME, is unprecedented in character and may mark a pinnacle in the growing influence street culture has on the established institutionalized world of fashion. Art and fashion are two worlds ever close to one another. This change in fashion could be due to the same influence being made in the art world.
While Vuitton has collaborated with iconic fashion designers in the past, they were mostly luxury designers. This is the first collaboration with an existing fashion brand, and a street-wear icon nonetheless. And while the connection between street art and street culture to the fashion world has many representations, this is a whole other level.
Many street artist dabble in fashion. Not only street art tycoon Shepherd Fairy has fashion merchandise, here in Tel Aviv, you can find sunglasses and socks by Pilpeled, T-shirts by the BFC crew and iPhone covers by Dede. And yet, however popular a pair of vans sneakers are on the streets they remain foreign to the runways of Paris. That is until now. The fashion world, like the art world, is surrendering to the real-life action in the urban space.
The fact is that the art establishment has been, and still is, gradually accepting street artists as valid members of the art sphere, exhibiting, selling and re-selling their work. This allows them to expand from the urban space to the studio. This expansion pushes them to achieve status and influence new audiences, etching their art into our time and our culture, so much that the great Louis Vuitton has splashed a big red SUPREME logo on a luxurious leather bag to make it, what we now consider, cooler than ever.