Josh Smith's Artycapucines for Louis Vuitton.
Josh Smith's Artycapucines for Louis Vuitton.
Image: Supplied

Louis Vuitton’s 2020 Artycapucines Collection has just dropped. The inaugural range, launched last year, saw the brand collaborating with a handful of artists (including South Africa’s own Nicholas Hlobo) who were tasked with reimagining the Capucines bag. The bag, first introduced in 2013, has become a modern classic.

This year’s chosen contemporary artists are Beatriz Milhazes, Jean-Michel Othoniel, Josh Smith, Henry Taylor, Liu Wei, and Zhao Zhao. Their eye-catching designs really illustrate Louis Vuitton’s talent in aiding artists to bring their ideas to life through technology and design.

Celebrated Brazilian artist Milhazes, known for her detailed, abstract, kaleidoscope-like paintings and collages, has translated an original artwork onto the Capucines, using texture, 18 different types of leather, gold leaf, and a playful gel peace sign. The piece is a breath of fresh air.

American artist Henry Taylor chose to use A Young Master, a 2017 painting he did of Black American artist Noah Taylor for his Artycapucines creation. The challenge faced by Louis Vuitton on this bag was how to not only reproduce the painting onto leather, but also how to replicate the exact varied colours and textures. This was eventually done, over 100 2D and 3D printing experiments later, using laser printing and traditional marquetry.

The 2020 Louis Vuitton Artycapucines:

We are gaga over all of this year’s bags, but our favourite is New York-based artist Josh Smith’s joyful design. Smith’s work is known to explore the visual and philosophical possibilities of his moniker, and the bag is no different. Smith says, “Louis Vuitton puts its name on all its stuff, so I feel like my name should float on top of theirs. That’s the whole point, like, ‘Who is this Josh Smith guy? With this bag’.” An added bonus, Smith’s design is leather-free, rather using a highly embroidered cotton canvas and a natural apple wood handle.

 From the November edition of Wanted, 2020.

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