The only thing better than coveted handbags are designer bag COLLABORATIONS. Although these creative pairings often exist for business-boosting purposes, these art-meets-fashion bag collabs are iconic labours of love and an absolute must-have for every designer handbag collector. These co-branded projects challenge tradition and provoke the brands, artists and designers to create fresh and innovative products. In a bursting market, that’s not only what it takes to stand out, but also what fashion needs to stay relevant in an increasingly competitive world.
We reveal the stories behind the best bag collaborations of all time.
Louis Vuitton X Supreme
In 2000, Louis Vuitton sued the iconic American skateboarding and clothing brand for appropriating its signature Louis Vuitton monogram logo. However, almost 2 decades later, the fashion giants paired up to create one of the most monumental collaborations in history!
They produced a range of different items from handbags to skateboard trunks. Of course, every piece included a unique blend of logos, signature colours and craftsmanship that each brand is famous for.
This designer duo later turned out to be a major catalyst between high fashion and streetwear. Talk about iconic!
Prada X Damien Hirst
We’re getting antsy with this next piece and it’s not just because it’s a pretty purse! In 2013, Miuccia Prada and Damien Hirst collaborated to create a bug bag (yes, you read right!). The Entomology handbag collection is inspired by insect paintings and adorned with chunky bugs and precious stones encased in plexiglass.
There are only 20 entomology bags in the collab, ever. Each sold via a silent auction on 9th – 10th October 2013 for charity. The proceeds benefitted the non-profit organisation called ROTA (Reach Out To Asia).
This collaboration also marks the ‘Relics’ exhibition. This is a major retrospective, spanning over 27 years of Hirst’s career, held in the Qatar Museums Authority. The bags drew on the theme of the fragility of life. Each creation sees an iconic Prada silhouette encased within plexiglass, preserved insects floating in-between.
We’re obsessing over this bug bag!
Gucci X Trevor Andrew
Yet another iconic collaboration with a rich story. In 2013, urban artist ‘Trouble Andrew’ spray painted his own version of the Gucci logo across his hometown in Brooklyn whilst dressed in full Gucci garb. His #GucciGhost tag soon caught the attention of the likes of Alessandro Michele who flew him down to the fashion capital of Milan to discuss the collaboration on Gucci’s fall collection.
The Gucci X #GucciGhost collaboration allowed Trevor Andrew to adopt the fashion house’s signature double G along with a set of bold motifs like stars, and ghosts (of course), painting them in a graffiti-style over a lineup of handbags, shoes and other items of clothing.
Rebellious, young, naïve and even revolutionary, these outstanding pieces even attracted the likes of Beyoncé in raptures. During her Formation Tour, the star wore a scarlet fur coat customised with Trevor ‘Trouble’ Andrew’s motifs.
Louis Vuitton X Jeff Koons
By now, you’ll have noticed that Louis Vuitton is well known for their iconic collaborations over the last few decades. However, the next one has got to be one of the top designer handbag collabs of ALL TIME.
Koon is a popular contemporary artist located in New York City. He brought his recent ‘Gazing Ball Paintings’, with a series of large-scale hand-painted reproductions of works by the Old Masters, to a range of different Louis Vuitton handbags.
These include re-creations such as Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Titian’s Mars, Venus and Cupid, Fragonard’s Girl with a Dog, Van Gogh’s Wheat Fields and Cypresses and Rubens’ Tiger Hunt. Furthermore, these works have been transposed on iconic Louis Vuitton silhouettes such as the Speedy, the Keepall and the Neverfull. It also includes boldly emblazoned text, each with the name of the original artist. Each piece is finished with a leather tag in the shape of an inflatable rabbit. This is a recurrent motif in Koon’s most widely recognised works.
However, the best part is that it represents both the visual breadth of the canon of art history and the interconnectedness of artists working across the centuries.
Now, by representing these celebrated pieces on LV bags and boldly emblazoning each with the name of the original artist, Koons once again invites viewers to consider these works anew, opening the museum to the world and encouraging us to experience the Old Masters in novel ways.
Jimmy Choo X Rob Pruitt
Pop, prints and pandas! The Capsule Cruise Collection for Spring/Summer 2013 is all about fun. Jimmy Choo received a pop-art makeover by artist, Rob Pruitt in 2013. Needless to say, this collaboration was nothing short of iconic.
Everything about this limited-edition collection screams young and fresh, with a multitude of different colours, prints and patterns. Rainbow coloured accessories & animal prints with the overall resounding theme being Pandas. Let’s be honest, only an esteemed designer brand like Jimmy Choo could pull this one off!
Although a footwear-centric collection, the stand-out pieces were undoubtedly the angel and devil panda minaudières, studded with hundreds of Swarovski crystals. These caricatures and colours perfectly encapsulate Pruitt’s signature style.
From the insanely funky to more demure exotic prints, this collection definitely added spice to the Jimmy Choo brand, and we have been loving it ever since!
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