Ode to LV x Murakami

Ever since I purchased my Louis Vuitton Damier Ebene Keepall 55, I have been on a Louis Vuitton binge.

Here is where I acknowledge my privilege and assure the reader that as much as I spend on myself, I am responsible with my , my husband’s, and and my son’s savings. FFS, I maxed out my 401k fund at the 2022 contribution limit. I have limited my purchases thus far in 2022 via my Year of Less to temper my past purchases. I see myself taking this into future years.

There is one Louis Vuitton collection from which I will not acquire a bag.

meeting Louis Vuitton Murakami

Picture it: Spring 2003. I was dining at the Greek restaurant Kiefers in Jackson, Mississippi. The restaurant, nay establishment, was down the street from the school where I spent my freshman year of undergrad. My mom was helping me move back home at the end of my second semester of Millsaps College. Obviously, a shrimp pita wrap sans bell peppers and an order of cottage fried potato was in order.

A young lady passed our table and she was carrying a Louis Vuitton monogram handbag but rather than the brown and gold color scheme, it was a rainbow of vivid monograms and fleur de lis motifs scattered on a white background. On the car ride home to the coast, I just could not stop thinking about that Alma.

flashback to eLuxury

Does anyone else remember eLuxury? Back then, eLuxury was the only online outlet which made Louis Vuitton accessible to those without a brick and mortar location. I lost track of the online luxury etailer and have no clue when it was shuttered; these days the website address directs the internet browser to a mattress website. Even though it was the only way to order Louis Vuitton from the primary market back then, even eLuxury did not offer the Murakami collection.

all about superflat

The collection was quite literally wearable art, as Hakashi Murakami is a practitioner of the superflat movement, a postmodern art genre and incorporates elements of anime and manga, and applied it to his collaboration with Louis Vuitton. While Hashashi Murakami is frequently considered the originator of superflat, there are pieces from the 19th century that fall under the category.

playing favorites with the collection

There were several pattern iterations of the collaboration of Louis Vuitton and Murakami. Both Charlotte York and Regina George notably carried the Cherry Blossom in the Papillon and Pochette Accessoires, respectively. The latter also sporting the belt during the scene where the “girls have gone wild,” #IYKYK

The collection included a pattern with cherries on the typical brown background. Officially named Cerises, it was recently carried in the Keepall style by Bella Hadid.

As much as I loved the monogram multicolore on the white background, I disliked the monogram multicolore on the black background. The pattern just popped better and the tan leather was better complemented by the white canvas. Both the white and black background monogram were also offered with graphics of eyes substituting select icons in the monogram pattern. A little too out there.

the OG influencers

A Google image search shows bags from the collection accompanying models down the runway for then-Creative Director, Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2003. Even more influential was the onslaught of images of celebrities carrying what would be frequently referred to as the It Bag of 2003.

With the addition of Us Weekly, People, and other celebrity-focus publications, choice celebrities – Paris, Madonna, Jessica – drove the popularity of the Louis Vuitton Murakami collection. Between Jessica namechecking the collection on Newlyweds and the characters of Regina George and Cady Heron wearing the collection on Mean Girls, the Louis Vuitton Murakami was cemented as the It Bag of the aughts.

primary market versus secondary market

I am in the camp of only buying designer from the primary market, meaning buying directly from the brand or an authorized retailer. Since Louis Vuitton quietly discontinued the collaboration with the ushering in of the brand Creative Director Nicolas Ghesquière, I will not be acquiring a piece from the formerly waitlisted-plagued collection. There are plenty of options on the secondary market but as always do your due dilligence.

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