The “Capucines” bag was so christened by Louis Vuitton after Capucines Street in Paris, where he ran his first shop back in 1854. In 2019 the brand released the “Artycapucines Collection,” in which contemporary artists reinterpreted the Capucines bags from their own unique perspectives. For this, the second round of the project, works newly created by the six contemporary artists of Beatriz Milhazes, Jean-Michel Othoniel, Josh Smith, Henry Taylor, Liu Wei, and Zhao Zhao will be released. Each model will go on sale October 30 worldwide in limited edition runs of only 200 bags.
With this line, each artist uses Louis Vuitton’s Capucines new classic bag as their canvas to express their own worldviews. The renowned artists who are active worldwide that were chosen for this round include Beatriz Milhazes, Jean-Michel Othoniel, Josh Smith, Henry Taylor, Liu Wei, and Zhao Zhao. They have reinterpreted the iconic Capucine bag in ways that are both subtle and refined. The brand lends its support to situations whereby artists can give free reign to their ideas by harnessing the maison’s unique and innovative esprit and craftsmanship.
A piece that was specialy created by Beatriz Milhazes for the Artycapucines Collection formed the base of her bag, making it a cross-over of her unique artistic techniques and the sophisticated craftsmanship of Louis Vuitton. She machined 18 types of leather to the same thickness and applied lambskin leather made using marquetry techniques to her Capucines bag. She added two embellishments in the form of gold leaf injected with silicon gel and a bas-relief peace sign to the Capucine bag, which is characterized by its diverse and varied feel and beautiful, kaleidoscopic finish. Enamel inlay and gel were used for the LV logo.
Jean-Michel Othoniel’s entry in the Artycapucines Collection is entirely reminiscent of a refined, cheerful objet d’art. The bag’s material consists of intricately hand-woven raffia palm, and the upper edge has been adorned with a frill produced by hand-embroidering black satin silk that is used in haute couture. The impressive handle that features a modern touch is representative of Othoniel’s works, and is made from the black resin beads reminiscent of Le Kiosque des Noctambule, which serves as the entrance to the Palais Royal metro station in Paris. It is accented by an impressive charm made of three resin beads.
New York-based artist Josh Smith used his signature “Name” painting depicting his own name for his bag. To recreate the piece, he used white stitches to adorn the outside of the cotton canvas serving as the bag’s material with embroidery to faithfully express brush strokes, thus producing a sense of depth. Next, the fabric and stitches were painstakingly printed, before the letters of his name were embroidered across the entire Capucines bag. Metal with embedded wooden material was used for the Capucines LV signature. At the same time, unadulterated pear wood was used for the handle. The silk lining has been printed with “Palm #3,” which is one of the artist’s brightly colored and visually striking paintings.
The artist Henry Taylor, who is originally from California, employed a combination of cutting-edge laser printing and traditional marquetry techniques on “A Young Master,” a painting he released in 2017. The expressive model of the portrait was Noah Davis, an American artist and the founder of The Underground Museum in LA. He faithfully recreated this painting on leather. All manner of 2D and 3D printing techniques were needed in order to accurately recreate the varied textures, with more than 100 experiments carried out to achieve this. In addition, the background of the bag’s Taurillon leather was used as a “blank canvas,” and marquetry techniques requiring precise and sophisticated techniques were employed to embed a three-dimensional portrait within it. The result is a finished portrait expressed in bas-relief.
The Beijing-based artist Liu Wei is famous for his incendiary and uncategorizable works that are expressed in a variety of mediums. The Capucine bag he designed is based on “Microworld,” a large-scale installation he exhibited at the 2019 Venice Biennale. He recreated this piece by utilizing five types of silver-hued leathers by meticulously calculating the precise shapes and angles of aluminum flower petals of varying sizes. The flower petals were directly embedded in the exterior of the Capucines bag, and affixed with rivets inscribed with “LOUIS VUITTON.” The handle is made from black Plexiglas. It is fixed in place by rings adorned with metallic spheres with a retro-futuristic touch. The individually mounted globes have each been finished in unique ways, just like with the original installation.
The Chinese artist Zhao Zhao took the concept for his bag from “In Extremis No. 3,” a sculpture that he created in 2018. The pieces of metal used to complete this piece have been converted to leather, with each single bag made out of 353 small patches laser-cut from five types of leather. This enormous volume of patches is then processed as prints and reliefs using seven different patterns, including hand-embroidered and machine-embroidered patterns. Next, he followed a precise design layout to combine the patches to carefully sew them together into a single panel. The completed patchwork pattern covers the surface of the bag, and fully gives one the impression that it was created so that Zhao Zhao’s original work would fit precisely over the entire Capucines bag.