The bearing of a coffin does not exactly sound like viral content, but a few weeks ago, a clip of exactly that started circulating the internet—not because of who, if anyone, was inside, but because it seemed to mark the final peak of the hype surrounding this year’s hysteria-inducing collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Supreme.
New York’s local community board may have unanimously denied permission for the collab to open up a pop-up store this summer, citing concerns for crowds and disruption, but Supreme, which typically sticks to streetwear and skate, has still stuck to their signature merch drops ever since. (Even throughout this month, which has brought along competition from Barbara Kruger, the artist whom they directly drew from to create their famous logo.) It’s only fair, then, that Louis Vuitton has now joined the fray with a street-clogging event of their own: “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez,” an exhibition open to the public that first launched in 2015 in Paris, and now has finally made it to New York’s former American Stock Exchange building, the venue for which it was originally intended.
The show’s curator, Olivier Saillard, was not intending to make a connection between the brand’s newfound morbid tone when he pointed out to WWD that it’s quite fitting the building faces a cemetery, which he called “quite metaphorical of life.” That coincidence is also fitting because Vuitton has now been around for nearly two centuries, a time period in which the brand has simultaneously been repeatedly reborn and yet always also connected to travel; its founder—yes, the actual Louis—did, after all, arrive to Paris by actually walking nearly 300 miles from his hometown in Anchay, France. After about two decades, he eventually got deep enough into the box-making and packing industry to open a store of luxury trunks of his own in 1854, and the rest, of course, is (very monogrammed and very Instagrammed) history. From its early utilitarian yet still ultra-luxe trunks to its more present-day, flashier collabs like Jeff Koons’s Mona Lisa duffel bags, see how the brand has traveled through the ages with a look inside the show, whose title translates to “Fly, Sail, Travel,” via some of the best posts on Instagram, here.
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