Image: Louis Vuitton
August 4 marks one of the important days in the fashion industry. It’s the day that Louis Vuitton, the founder of the eponymous French Maison, was born. And 2021 is a special one because the brand is celebrating its founder’s 200th birthday with Louis 200, an initiative that pays homage to the life and legacy of Louis Vuitton. Unlike other fashion brands over the years where a special collection will be made to commemorate the occasion, the Maison decided to chronicle the life of Louis Vuitton through an array of activities that transcends the realm of fashion into gaming, art, and literature.
Starting today, fans can download Louis The Game, an immersive gaming experience that pays tribute to Vuitton’s famous two-year journey from his hometown of Anchay in the French Jura area to Paris. The game features Vivienne, the house’s monogrammed mascot, who traverses a virtual world. Players will have to clear quests, collect candles and keys to access new levels, which ultimately leads to a party at the end. Four iconic cities serve as the inspiration for the locations within the game’s world: Paris, Beijing, London and New York.
In addition to just playing the games, players will stand a chance to win NFTs as well. There are a total of 30 originals and ten of them have been created by the renowned digital artist Beeple. Dabbling into the gaming world is not new for the Maison as it has previously partnered with Riot Games for a capsule collection in 2019 that included both physical and digital clothes. Endless Runner was also launched that year as part of Virgil Abloh’s Fall/Winter 2019 menswear collection. Aside from the virtual realm, the physical windows across the brand’s boutiques will showcase trunks reimagined by 200 artists from all over the world.
The trunks, made to replicate the original trunk that Vuitton created in the 1850s, were given a facelift by these artists. Prominent figures that were invited include BTS — the Kpop phenomenon is the brand’s global ambassador — Stephen Sprouse, Peter Marino, Gloria Steinem and others. On the trunks, handwritten messages can be seen along with little drawings. In the spirit of travel, these trunks will make its way around the globe and be put on display in key locations for everyone to see and join in the celebration.
Image: Louis Vuitton
While these two activities have already started, other activations are also in the pipeline:
A fictional novel based on the life and intentions of Vuitton will be written by French writer Caroline Bongrand and published by Gallimard. Both French and English versions will be available in October. Looking for Louis, a documentary will be broadcasted on Apple TV+ from December. It will retrace the younger days of Louis Vuitton. From his humble beginnings to becoming a trunk maker and packer for Empress Eugénie, and the current fashion empire 200 years later. A large-scale triptych of the founder painted by acclaimed American artist Alex Katz will be unveiled in Fall. This is the second collaboration the Maison has done with Katz, the first was also a portrait of Vuitton for its Louis Vuitton X exhibition in Beverly Hills.
“Louis’ coming-of-age tale, that of a risk-taking, innovative, natural leader defines the Maison he founded and advances us into the future,” says Louis Vuitton’s Chairman and CEO Michael Burke in a press statement. “Through the disruptive and dynamic initiatives of Louis 200, we can appreciate how Louis was a figure of his time — and of ours.”
Louis 200 is a grand celebration of Vuitton’s bicentennial birthday and the brand has extended the invitation to everyone and it hopes the founder’s journey can be a catalyst for endless inspiration… something we dearly need and miss. Head over to Louis Vuitton’s website to join the fun.