Let's start connecting the dots. Over ten years ago, famous Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama, was introduced to the then-creative director of Louis Vuitton. While we thought the rest was history, it was only the beginning of one of the most iconic collaborations in the fashion world. Now, it is making its return debut with a modern take on the vintage line.
In 2006, Yayoi Kusama met with the former creative director of Louis Vuitton in her - what we can only imagine - the vibrant and extravagant studio. Renowned for her signature dot pattern, Yayoi handed over a custom-designed Louis Ellipse bag. Yet, when she handed it over, she had transformed its aesthetic. The bag had been completely Yayoi-fyed. The bag had been painted with a variety of dots. But, this was no travesty. Instead, it was a blessing in disguise. 6 years later, fashion show-goers witnessed an array of similar bags walk down the Louis Vuitton runway, launching "one of the brand's most popular artist collaborations to date," noted Harpers Bazaar. Now, 10 years later, we are re-living history, making a cultural reset in fashion.
Kusama's dotted designs - and occasionally mirrors - are "inspired by repetition, eternity, and the illusion of a never-ending space." Speaking of never-ending, the collection is back after a Kusama hiatus. Now, the Louis Vuitton website has been exclusively re-designed their website as a shrine to Kusama and the return of the dots. Not only are the designs similar, but the exact "hyper-realistic painted dabs" that were painted by Kusama in 2012 (inspired by a Louis Vuitton trunk) have been re-printed. It's a fashion deja vu like never before. Although, since the dynamic duo has come back stronger, the collection features over 450 pieces on top of the bags, including "dotted jeans spotted Archlight sneakers, and metalized leather jackets - plus menswear, fragrances, and eyewear." This year's designs represent the concept of "Love Forever." Marc Jacobs noted, "Love is a beautiful idea. The dots represent something that has no points, no hard edges, and is infinite. And what could be nicer than infinite love?" When the return of the dots was teased on their official Instagram, the campaign received over 1 million likes, "nearly 40 times more the average engagement per post."
Someone cue the nostalgia. Taking into consideration the substantially less effect social media had 10 years ago, when Louis Vuitton didn't even have an Instagram account, this is a whole new era of fashion. Still, the original collaboration didn't need social media to feed into the minds and wardrobes of fashion fanatics. Could this be the year of the dots? Stay tuned.