The hottest jetsetter of the year isn’t a young socialite or the new It celeb. In fact, it’s not even a person at all. It’s Louis Vuitton’s 200 Trunks 200 Visionaries: The Exhibition.
Celebrating the bicentennial birthday of the maison’s namesake, the traveling exhibition features 200 of Louis Vuitton’s signature trunks reimagined by 200 visionaries. Since kicking off in New York, it has made its way to New York, Singapore and now Los Angeles.
From July 29 to Sept. 6, Louis Vuitton’s 200 Trunks 200 Visionaries: The Exhibition holds court in Los Angeles’ most esteemed shopping district and expands the brand's Rodeo Drive presence up to three outposts. It joins the Beverly Hills flagship location and the first-ever men’s store in California, which opened earlier in July.
What’s more, the exhibition continues Louis Vuitton’s history with the pristine contemporary classical building on North Rodeo Drive. Back in 2019, the French luxury brand hosted Louis Vuitton X in the same building, which offered a dive into its 160-year history.
Through 200 Trunks 200 Visionaries, the maison brings an ever fuller vision of Louis Vuitton’s history and legacy to life.
“This project has always been about creativity— a real tribute to Louis’s ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit,” Louis Vuitton Visual Image Director Faye McLeod said. “We get to see how such a cross section of talents answered the same brief while also taking a moment to appreciate the man himself.”
With the aim to showcase a mosaic of talents, the exhibition highlights leaders spanning arts and culture, sports, the sciences, global causes and more, such as Gloria Steinem, Lego, Supreme, Peter Marino, Nigo, Alex Israel and Fornasetti. Each was tasked to personalize a blank canvas trunk.
"LV200 Soap Box Car', 2021 is an object that looks as if it can go in any direction, though in its current iteration, it can only go in one,” Playlab explains of its trunk. “It uses gravity and momentum to move itself forward. It has a brake, but it's not always effective. Like most works, it is an analogy for the studio, more specifically: a product and symbol of a team.”
The Los Angeles manifestation of the exhibit reflects a local spirit, which includes the showcasing of exclusive rooms dedicated to the Brooklyn Balloon Company by Robert Moy and Frank Gehry. As you might imagine, it’s a wall-to-wall room of vibrant balloons.
Speaking more specifically to the heart of the city, visitors can set their sights on The Lowrider Trunk by Be Good Studios made in collaboration with Carlos Gomez, Tony Hernandez, Rene Rivera, Fabian Gomez and Oscar Mendoza.
“For our trunk, Be Good Studios pays homage to Louis Vuitton's spirit of invention and travel. To the communities that make our city. To car culture and the childhood dreams in us all,” the creative agency explained.
“The car is king of the city—a city of freeways, dreams and freedom,” they added. “When I was young, my father wanted to move our family from a small rural town in the United Kingdom to Los Angeles, California. He had a job opportunity to work as a stage technician in one of the big film studios. After his interview, he returned with Super 8 footage he shot, and that weekend we sat in our living room in awe. We saw the Hollywood sign, giant boulevards, neon lights, Disneyland, Venice Beach. But what I really remember were cars. Not ordinary cars, but cars of chrome and metallic candy paint, cars that bounced and hopped. Dropped to the ground as low as they could go. This was America for me, and I wanted so much to live there. My mother, so conservative in her outlook, wished for us to stay in England, so it took me 22 more years before I finally made it to America, where I now reside with my family. Los Angeles is a cultural melting pot. There’s nowhere else that has given me opportunities to work and collaborate with such a broad and culturally-diverse people.”
While 200 Trunks 200 Visionaries is ultimately a momentous capturing of Louis Vuitton’s heritage and infectious spirit for travel and creativity, the wider LV200 project will have a timeless impact through its support of young artists. Already, it has raised €2 million from the visionaries who directed 100 percent of their fees to charitable organizations around the world that support creative endeavors.
Louis Vuitton’s 200 Trunks 200 Visionaries: The Exhibition is located at 468 N Beverly Dr 90210 and is free of charge, with walk-ins possible and reservations available here. Hours run Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Photography by: Courtesy Louis Vuitton