SPHERE Curates: Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama

Words by
Sphere Editors

30th January 2023

We all know about the latest Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama partnership, the first drop of which has been filling our feeds for weeks. What is this collection really like, and which pieces sum up the collaboration best?

The global activation of this collaboration has been a masterstroke, with uncannily lifelike Yayoi Kusamas' popping up everywhere. As a contemplative robot Kusama painting the windows of the New York Vuitton boutique store with infinity dots, or as 100 foot high inflatable Kusama, gazing down at the Paris store from above the cities' rooftops.

Her effigy has also appeared outside Harrods, directing shoppers to a Kusama experience inside, complete with matching polka-dotted cupcakes. Though the 93-year-old artist did make an actual appearance last week, and meet the the inflatable version of herself at Tokyo's Harajuku pop-up Vuitton store last week. Surely, the ultimate meta moment. 

Here, SPHERE showcases the shoot of the collection shown here in images styled by the incredible Carine Roitfeld, and we curate the best of Drop 1. Look out for drop 2 at the end of March. 

Yayoi Kusama is undoubtedly the most successful living, female artist. For those who thought her 2012 collaboration with Vuitton would be her last project, here she is a decade later continuing the relationship, picking up with the house, exactly where she left off.

In fact, this incarnation of the Louis Vuitton and Kusama creative exchange started with her parting gift to the house a decade ago. She hand-painted a Louis Vuitton trunk with her characteristic polka dots, dots that, for Kusama, represent infinity.

It is an exact replica of these dots, a true representation of Kusama’s hand that this collection is built upon.

Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama Drop 1
Oversize multi-colour dots denim jacket, denim shorts, crop T-shirt, shorts, silhouette ankle boots and capucines mini bag in red taurillon leather, all Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama

This project’s roots is in the motif of painted dots, and here, they are a direct translation of Kusama’s hand through a complex serigraphy technique and embossed printing on leather or iconic coated canvas.

Kusama’s motifs have travelled with her for most of her life; she began painting her dots when still a child of ten. Here, a proliferation appears across ready-to-wear, across leather goods, across accessories, and across fragrances, from a colourful iteration of the dots true to the original artwork to a gradation of black, silver, grey and white specifically for men.

Alma BB Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama Drop 1
Alma BB in red monogram empreinte leather with infinity dots print, £1980, by LV x YK
Look 2 Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama Drop 1
Painted dots cap, infinity dots jacquard fleece blouson, jog-pants, monogram Eclipse canvas with painted dots, LV trainer, all Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama
Eclipse Canvas Bag
Monogram Eclipse canvas with painted dots, £2700, LV x YK

Discover the Sac Plat Bag LV x YK Monogram Eclipse bag for men

LV x YK Trainer
LV Sneaker with Infinity Dots, £955, by LV x YK

The LV x YK Trainer features its own palette of dots; on a grounding of white grain calf leather, black on white and green on white dots appear, together with a white on red iteration. A myriad of other accessories are also encompassed, including signature silk scarves, sunglasses, reversible bucket hats, baseball caps and even the ‘Vivienne’ doll – a version of Kusama herself. The infinity dots too extend their reach to the realm of fragrance with, appropriately enough, the obsessional Spell on You, given a Kusama spin for Valentine’s Day.

Keepall 45 in monogram canvas with painted dots, £2,5110, by LV x YK
Twist PM Bag
Twist PM bag, £3700, LV x YK
LV X YK Capucines MM bag
Capucines MM bag, £7,200, LV X YK
LV x YK Monogram square painted dots sunglasses
Monogram square painted dots sunglasses, £440, LV x YK
And coming on March 31st...
Vivienne Bag
The Vivienne bag in cherry wood, showing a doll of Yayoi Kusama, will be available in the second drop of the collaboration, released on March 31st 2023.