DESIGNER 101

Louis  Vuitton 101: Takashi  Murakami’s
Monogram  Multicolor  Collection

By Haotian C. Sep 29, 2020

Christian Dior 101

A colorful reinterpretation of the classic monogram

print, the Monogram Multicolor collection was a one-of-a-kind collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Japanese artist Takashi Murakami. The once-edgy line was a fan favorite in the early ‘00s and has landed back in the spotlight thanks to the logomania comeback and Murakami’s uniquely loveable designs.

History of Murakami & Louis Vuitton

The infamous collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Takashi Murakami began in 2002 at the behest of the then creative director, Marc Jacobs. Murakami, an iconic artist based in Japan, brought his imaginative and colorful aesthetics to the renowned fashion house. From this new partnership came the first creation, the Monogram Multicolor collection from Spring/Summer 2003. The designs received tremendous public attention as well as commercial success. 

Following the success of the Monogram Multicolor collection, Murakami continued his work with Louis Vuitton. Several more collaborations followed, including Cherry Blossom (2003), Panda (2004), Cerises (2005), MOCA Hands (2007 for Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles exhibition), Monogramouflage (2008), and Cosmic Blossom (2010). 

The partnership between Murakami and Louis Vuitton came to an end after 12 years following the discontinuation of the Monogram Multicolor line in 2015, making it the longest artist collaboration the brand has ever had.

 

Louis Vuitton Papillon Handbag Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom (2003)

Louis Vuitton Keepall Bag Cerises

Cerises (2005)

Louis Vuitton Speedy Handbag Monogramouflage

Monogramouflage (2008)

Louis Vuitton Trotteur Handbag Monogram Murakami Panda

Panda (2004)

Louis Vuitton Neverfull Tote Monogram Murakami MOCA Hands

MOCA Hands (2007)

Louis Vuitton Voyage Tote Cosmic Blossom

Cosmic Blossom (2010)

About The Monogram Multicolor Collection

The Monogram Multicolor collection, or “Monogram Multicolore” in the French spelling, debuted at the Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2003 show. By using 33 different colors on black and white coated canvas backdrop, Murakami re-imagined the brand’s classic brown monogram print with vivid color palettes and playfulness. This whimsical and youthful line was described as a “monumental marriage between art and business” by creative director Marc Jacobs and laid a solid foundation for a later long-lasting collaboration. 

The Monogram Multicolor designs instantly became some of the most sought-after accessories in the world. The handbags were seen on the arms of celebrities like Jessica Simpson, Naomi Campbell, and Paris Hilton. With the rising influence of pop culture and the “It” bag trend during the 00s, the collection provided massive commercial success and cultural impact for Louis Vuitton while elevating Murakami to celebrity status with global recognition and fame.

During 2009 – 2015, The fashion world witnessed the rise of minimalism led by Phoebe Philo at Celine. Products with more understated, non-logo designs dominated the market, including staples like the Celine Luggage, Fendi Peekaboo, and Prada Galleria Tote. Logo products dwindled in popularity, and many logo-driven brands looked to reduce their monogram lines’ visibility. In 2015, Louis Vuitton discontinued the Monogram Multicolor line as the brand preferred to “look forward” under the leadership of Nicolas Ghesquière. Spanning over a decade, the Monogram Multicolor designs defined an era fondly remembered as a refreshing pop of color in fashion history.

Louis Vuitton Speedy Handbag Monogram Multicolor

Speedy

Louis Vuitton Sologne Handbag Monogram Multicolor

Sologne

Louis Vuitton Trouville Handbag Monogram Multicolor

Trouville

Louis Vuitton Speedy Mini HL Handbag Monogram Multicolor

Mini HL Speedy

Louis Vuitton Pochette Accessoires Monogram Multicolor

Pochette Accessoires

The Collection on The Resale Market Today

In the world of fashion, what goes around always comes around. With the reemergence of logomania and the rise in popularity of vintage trends in recent seasons, the discontinued Monogram Multicolor designs are seemingly making a comeback. 

The highly coveted pieces are only available on the resale market today, which has lead to a  considerable increase in both search and sales of this collection. Prices continue to increase over recent years, especially for certain popular models. Taking the Mini HL Speedy (loved by Kylie and Kendall Jenner), for example, the resale price has sky-rocketed more than 200% in the past two years, and it still sells as soon as it hits the shelf.

The Monogram Multicolor collection is a timeless collaboration by Takashi Murakami and Louis Vuitton – classic with a playful twist, nostalgic yet still so refreshing. It is without a doubt that the Monogram Multicolor designs will withstand the test of time and continue to shine colorfully in our closets for years to come.

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