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New Vuitton-Kusama collection — A frenzy of dots

July 11, 2012


Pedestrians walk in front of Louis Vuitton's flagship Fifth Avneue store in New York, Tuesday, July 10, 2012, before the company unveiled windows and a collection collaboratively designed by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama and Vuitton creative director Marc Jacobs. — AP Photo

NEW YORK: French fashion house Louis Vuitton is again putting a bit of Japanese culture on the arms of its customers.         

The brand, best known for leather goods, was to formally unveil Tuesday a new collection created in collaboration between Yayoi Kusama and Louis Vuitton creative director Marc Jacobs.

The theme is bold, graphic polka dots  a signature of the artist  offered in a frenzied series of sizes and colors.

Jacobs and Kusama started with inspiration of ''obsession and seriality,'' according to a company statement. The dots cover shoes, handbags, shirts, skirts and sunglasses, among other items.

Jacobs met Kusama in 2006. He is an avid art collector and was a fan of Kusama's sculptures and paintings. ''The obsessive character and the innocence of her artwork touch me,'' Jacobs said.

In honor of the new products, Louis Vuitton created a splashy display for the brand's flagship Manhattan store on Fifth Avenue that pays homage to three Kusama motifs: ''Beginning of the Universe,'' ''Eternal Blooming Flowers in My Mind'' and ''Self-Obliteration.'' The building facade is wrapped in a pattern of dots.

The timing of the product launch and building installation coincides with the Whitney Museum of American Art's new exhibition of Kusama's work.

A decade ago, Jacobs and Louis Vuitton had great success collaborating with Japanese designer Takashi Murakami on a series of pop-art products that became instant must-haves among the fashion crowd and spawned a seemingly infinite number of mass-market items covered in similar-style rainbow-colored monograms and logos.        .