In 2006, Marc Jacobs (then creative director of Louis Vuitton) trekked to Tokyo to meet Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama at her studio; a mutual appreciation connected the two creatives. “I still have a photo of that visit hanging on the wall of my studio. We are standing with one of my creations, this huge pumpkin, between us,” Kusama told WWD in 2012. During the meeting, Jacobs asked Kusama if she’d be interested in designing fashion once again—in the 1980s, Bloomingdale’s sold Kusama’s subversive (and spotted!) pieces—and six years later, the first Louis Vuitton x Kusama collection arrived, pegged to the artist’s blockbuster retrospective at The Whitney Museum of American Art on July 11, 2012. The collection featured Speedy Bandoulière bags given the same undulating spot treatment as Kusama’s iconic pumpkins and Minnie Mouse-Esque ballerina flats with polka-dotted bows, which were documented in the campaign featuring models Anais Pouliot and Romee Strijd and photographed by Angelo Pennetta. On January 6, 2023, Louis Vuitton posted a video featuring Bella Hadid, Christy Turlington, Gisele Bündchen, FeiFei Sun (and more) engulfed in a delicate spiral of spots by Steven Meisel and Ferdinando Verderi to the maison’s Instagram account. It featured the second Louis Vuitton x Kusama, which will drop in two parts this year.
Bella Hadid photographed by Steven Meisel for Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama, 2021