29 April 2012
the louis vuitton zoo
A recent trip to Milan saw us get up close and personal with the luxury label’s new zoo.
Cutting and pasting Louis Vuitton leather is a craft project that most could only dream of doing – or perhaps not! The idea of tampering with any prized Louis Vuitton purchase presents itself as rather frightening, unless of course your name is Billie Achilleos, and you’re given free reign of the luxury house’s leather goods as part of a collaboration project.
Pushing the boundaries of art and fashion, Louis Vuitton commissioned the young British artist to showcase the French design houses breath of signature goods with a collection of leather animal art. The amazing creatures are collectively named the ‘Maroquinaris Zoologicae’ and were initially created by Achilleos for the 100th anniversary of the house’s small leather goods’ collection. We were lucky enough to view the collection up close on display at the Via Montenapoleone store as part of the Salone del Mobile 2012 whilst on our recent trip to Milan, and we can assure you it was just as breathtaking as any real-life zoo trip.
The miniature leather zoo collection required the artist to not only tailor her artistic talents to the task, but also her knowledge of the Louis Vuitton product range to ensure she found the perfect fit for every design. The collection of over 20 members of the animal kingdom showcases unique and creative re-interpretations of iconic Louis Vuitton monogrammed wallets, belts, purses and key chains and include insects, reptiles, birds and small mammals. We were particularly partial to the cat and the squirrel. We’re just disappointed none of these works of art could be taken home.
While you may not be able to get as close to the animal creations as we did, we suggest you take a look at this fascinating sneak peek of the making of the collection below.