The Art of Jacobs’ Vuitton: Looking Back At The Designer’s Most Arresting Campaigns

December 20, 2013 • Fashion

Consider this project an eclectic mixtape, but rather with music, it’s focused around imagery. Today, we’re diving into the visual archives of Marc Jacobs‘ most impactful Louis Vuitton campaigns – exploring the interconnectedness of moods, palettes and composition within our favorite Jacobs-Vuitton photographs and the unforgettable visions they call to mind. It’s a celebration of Jacobs’s Vuitton in honor of his last campaign for the venerable house – a darkly lit, Meisel-lensed portrait of the designer’s muses – Catherine Deneuve, Sofia Coppola, Gisele Bündchen, Fan Bingbing, Caroline de Maigret and Edie Campbell – in S/S ’14’s luxe-showgirl apparel in mineral tones that debuted just yesterday.


1) Tyson Ballou by Sølve Sundsbø for The Face (2000) x Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 1997

In Marc Jacobs’ first Spring/Summer campaign for the house of Louis Vuitton in 1997, he asked models such as Kylie Bax (not pictured) and others to pose in fitted futuristic clothing that complimented the sleek designs of the various handbags and luggage advertised. The austere poses of the models added to the computer-generated imagery tone of the campaign, where the lines between real and artificial imagery were effectively blurred. The CGI format was taken up by Sølve Sundsbø for a cover and editorial he did for The Face magazine in the May of 2000, starring Tyson Ballou and Liberty Ross.



2) Veruschka by Franco Rubartelli (1968) x Liya Kebede by Mert & Marcus for Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2004

Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2004 campaign featured an all-star cast, including the likes of Naomi Campbell, Karen Elson, Liya Kebede, Angela Lindvall, Kate Moss, and Amber Valleta modeling Marc Jacobs’ sybarites and iconic Vuitton monogram bag centered designs. Photographed by Mert & Marcus, the models lay on golden brown sand dunes with the horizon falling behind them. The entire “glamazon lost in a desert” idea may have come from a 1968 editorial in Vogue that involved model Veruschka, her at the time boyfriend-slash-photographer Franco Rubartelli, and Vogue stylist, Giorgio di Sant’ Angelo, who camped up to a desert in Arizona for five days with nothing but bolts of fabric, fur pelts, and ropes, in which Sant’Angelo created interpretive looks each day per photo.


3) Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2000 by Duc Liao x Lara Stone in “Fitting Room Follies” by Karl Lagerfeld (2009)

Lara Stone starred in a short film directed by Karl Lagerfeld, titled “Fitting Room Follies” in a story that revolves around the intimacies that revolve inside a fitting room. Lara tried on a series of tweed suits, pearl necklaces, two toned shoes, and many other signature Chanel pieces in this 5 minute, black and white screenplay. On the same continuum, Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer 2000 campaign zoomed in on the advertised handbags while the blurred background had fitting rooms with models trying on the season’s clothing.


4) Devon Aoki by Marcus Mam (1998) x Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 1999 by Jüergen Teller
Jüergen Teller’s first campaign for Louis Vuitton was for fall/winter 1999 and advertised the Louis Vuitton Cup, specifically Louis Vuitton Cup 2000. The Louis Vuitton Cup is a yachting competition connected with the America’s Cup, and is used as the selection series to select the team to sail as the challenger in the America’s Cup. One photo in particular (above), was taken on a bay in Auckland, the host city for that year’s competition, and had a model wearing a crisp white outfit with a minimal Louis Vuitton backpack to tie the whole outfit together. The bright blue sky and clouds made for an angelic backdrop, a sort of a distillation of a Jeremy Scott feature for Biennale di Firenze, an exhibition that explores the relationship between fashion and cinema. Devon Aoki stars as a literal angel, floating in a studio sky while wearing a Jeremy Scott mini-dress with wings.



5) Karolina Kurkova by Steven Meisel for Valentino Spring/Summer 2003 x Caroline Ribeiro by Patrick Demarchelier for Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2001

The picture in picture tactic was employed by the houses of Valentino and Louis Vuitton in various years. Initially done by Louis Vuitton for their spring/summer 2001 campaign, each photo had the models casually walking in a cityscape wearing an outfit and bag from the collection; the catch was that a billboard or advertisement spot in the environment that they were in had a photo of them explicitly modeling the same look they were wearing in the “actual” photo. Following the same technique but differing in execution, in 2003, Valentino had Karolina Kurkova in the nude, only to be covered by a photo of her modeling looks from the collection.

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