Koons/Vuitton bag: a new co-branding scheme
Art & Business | Vuitton’s new line of bags Masters was designed by artist Jeff Koons, who appropriated the principle of museum-derived products and amplified it through four levels of co-branding in an unprecedented collaboration proposal.
The luxury bag, which was conceived by Jeff Koons for Louis Vuitton, displays a complex superimposition of codes that interact with each other through four levels of co-branding :
- the reproduction of iconic masterworks
- the display of the works’ masters’ name, which act like a brand
- Jeff Koons’s signature motif, the rabbit, accompanied by his initials (inspired in Louis Vuitton’s monogram)
the traditional Louis Vuitton monograms
The interior of the bag is as imaginative as the exterior, leaving nothing to chance. Koons’s signature (the rabbit) is placed on the same level as the iconic painters; imprinted in the bag’s leather with a hot iron. The bags include a short biography of the master and a note describing the work of art, as it would in a museum. The bag as a whole appears to be an oxymoron, reinventing past aesthetics in a current context.
The Masters. collection also derives its inspiration from Jeff Koons’s Gazing Ball series of paintings (2015) ; which consists of hand-painted, large format reproductions. The chosen artworks cover different periods from the 15th century to the 19th and come from five museums located in four European countries : Da Vinci / Mona Lisa / Louvre-Paris, Titian / Mars, Venus and Cupid / Vienna Kunsthistorisches, Rubens / The tiger hunt / Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rennes, Fragonard / Girl with a dog / Munich Alte Pinakothek, Van Gogh / Wheat field with Cypresses / National Gallery in London.
Jeff Koons is given complete freedom to interpret the Louis Vuitton line of bags while the luxury house plays with its own brand and codes, marking a return to the importance of logotypes.