The prevailing wisdom is that the market for impeccably crafted one-of-a-kind pieces remains intact. This is very good news for Louis Vuitton, which has been creating special orders at its workshop in the quiet town of Asnières, just outside Paris, since 1859. Today the atelier is presided over by fifth-generation Patrick-Louis Vuitton, a skilled artisan in his own right. Clients can ask for just about anything, as long as the piece is designed in the spirit of travel. To mark the 150th anniversary of the Asnières workshop—and to underscore its tradition of artist collaborations (remember the Takashi Murakami multicolored monogram or the Richard Prince–printed totes?)—Louis Vuitton has partnered with designer (and LV creative director) Marc Jacobs, artist Damien Hirst, photographer Annie Leibovitz, Argentine musician Gustavo Santaolalla, and chef Ferran Adrià to create a series of singular pieces. Hirst wanted a travel armoire covered in his signature butterflies, Adrià requested carry-on luggage with a removable tray to check in his knives, and Jacobs made a carrying case for his two bull terriers with a space for a photograph of himself. Vuitton also contributed, designing a brown alligator case to hold his special-order tools and his watercolors. Despite the personal touches, none of those masters will hold on to their items for long: Each will be auctioned by Sotheby’s London on November 17 to benefit the Red Cross. An LV-monogrammed medical kit was also created for the occasion. For more information on the auction and opening bids, call Joanne Carter at 44-207/293-6276.
Custom Louis Vuitton Luggage
To celebrate its workshop’s 150th anniversary, the fashion house has created bespoke pieces for artist Damien Hirst, chef Ferran Adrià, photographer Annie Liebovitz, and others.