Actually Louis Vuitton houses should not exist. It's a serious company that frowns, most of the time, at random expressions of art and photoshop, although it did recently allow the (why why why) destruction of some fashion and bags for a group of fashion students in New York to experiment with for a class in fashion design. LV was livid over a Japanese installation using LV-like material to create little imaginary animals; a benign and loving tribute I'd thought.
Marc Jacobs roused the Snorlax of spendy luggage, bringing in the street cool of Stephen Sprouse with that amazing graffiti slashed on tranquil bags following up with Takashi Murakami blowing out of stores with painted cherries and flowers; top of the eBay fake pile, a nasty place to wade through.
In the middle of MOCA Los Angeles, the LV/Murakami shop was busier than a Starbucks on Madison Avenue at 8:55am. I stood in line for an hour while Shepard Fairey DJ'd and the cutest boys and girls served drinks, thinking it was art loving holding everything back. It was shopping time in the middle of the museum in a suddenly there LV boutique! My clever girlfriend bought a bag when she spied Mr. Murakami in the doorway and decided to smile her way through the milieu to ask for his very nice autograph for the newly bought IT bag (very few men would say no to her); he said yes and did a spiffy little sketch of her in her new bag and signed it. Commerce, indeed.
Mr. Murakami stepped up to buy the billboard near the museum, loving the graffiti dancing (billboard buffing by Revok) on it. The art of the bag, the street and LV all at once.
It was a couple of years ago and it seems sweet (it was). I think Mr. Murakami paid 30,000. for the billboard ... a fair price. Lots of money all around that event. The commerce of IT bags. Which now require true country of original labels ...