The Louis Vuitton x Jeff Koons Collab Is a Head-Scratcher

Courtesy of Louis Vuitton
The Louis Vuitton x Jeff Koons "Da Vinci" bag

What would Mona Lisa say?

Hot off its partnership with skateboard brand Supreme, Louis Vuitton is back at it again with another collaboration — this time with artist Jeff Koons.

On Tuesday, the French fashion house unveiled its new collection of bags and accessories, designed with Koons, featuring classical paintings such as the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, Mars, Venus and Cupid by Titian, The Tiger Hunt by Peter Paul Rubens, Young Girl Playing With Her Dog by Jean-Honoré Fragonard and Wheatfield With Crows by Vincent Van Gogh, all of which were reproduced as part of the Koons' Gazing Ball paintings. Each bag is plastered with the original artist's name in an all-caps gold or silver plate.

Aside from the reconfiguration of the famous Louis Vuitton Monogram to read "JK" (the initials of — you guessed it — Jeff Koons, and not an acronym for "just kidding"), which the luxury label has never allowed in the past, the collaboration fails to deliver any major shock value, which, for those familiar with Koons' artwork, is somewhat disappointing. (Who could forget his balloon dog sculpture that sold for a record-breaking $58.4 million? Or his controversial Michael Jackson and Bubbles gilded sculpture?) 

Then again, perhaps the shock value is precisely the fact that these bags seem so ordinary-looking, like something that could be found at a museum gift shop, such as the souvenir shop of the Louvre, where LV most recently held its fall 2017 show, or even in one of the souvenir shops along Paris' Rue de Rivoli. However, the LV x JK collab costs a pretty penny, priced between $585 and $4,000.

Folks on social media didn't seem very impressed, either.

"Kinda corny," wrote one Instagram user, adding, "And not to mention it looks like a really bad knock off or just a cheap forever 21 bag." Added another follower: "why he didn't use his own original art? that would be great :/." However, there were a few who were digging the collab, with one user writing, "smart move."

Louis Vuitton has a long history of collaborating with contemporary artists, including Takashi Murakami, Yayoi Kusama and Stephen Sprouse. Meanwhile, Koons has, in the past, partnered with Stella McCartney and H&M.

The announcement follows Louis Vuitton parent company LVMH's release of its financial report on Monday, which stated that the luxury goods conglomerate saw a 15-percent rise in revenue in the first quarter. The report also stated that Louis Vuitton "achieved a good start to the year, driven by a creative dynamic in all its businesses."

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