The Louis Vuitton trunk show lands in the former Barneys space
It’s not the Traveling Wilburys, but next month Louis Vuitton’s acclaimed traveling exhibit, “200 Trunks, 200 Visionaries: The Exhibition,” will activate the former Barneys space at 660 Madison Ave., The Post has learned.
To celebrate what would have been the 200th anniversary of Louis Vuitton itself on August 4, 2021, the company invited “a mosaic of talents and friends” to personalize a “metaphorical blank canvas” in the form of a trunk Original Louis Vuitton from the 1850s.
For exhibitions, the halls are fully decorated to showcase the unique works of South Korean pop group BTS, “The Simpsons”, architect Peter Marino, architect Frank Gehry and even Robert Moy’s Brooklyn Balloon Company.
Lego, for example, has created a birthday cake with Louis Vuitton‘s face in the icing, while Brooklyn illustrator Raphael Tanghal’s snake is a metaphor for Louis Vuitton’s two-year “serpentine” trek, 13 years, on foot to Paris.
“It’s a creative way to connect with Louis Vuitton’s heritage,” said Matthew Bauer, president of the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District, who was excited by the news of the pop-up. “We sorely miss Barneys and a Louis Vuitton activation highlights that Madison Avenue is a place where their customers shop and will support other brands here on the avenue.”
Robin Zendell & Associates represented the company owned by LVMH in the short-term lease. The Barneys space covered 275,000 square feet, but it’s still unclear how much will be used for the exhibit. Neither Zendell nor representatives for Louis Vuitton returned requests for comment before press time.
The exhibit, which began its world tour in Singapore and just wrapped up a summer in Beverly Hills, will open Oct. 14 and run through the New Year.
After touring the world, the trunks will be auctioned by Sotheby’s to benefit 15 international charities that support and inspire young people’s creativity, while Louis Vuitton is donating $10,000 on behalf of each of the 200 artists. Charities include Writopia Lab in the United States, as well as Kër ImagiNation in Senegal.
This isn’t the first time Louis Vuitton has held city pop-ups on Madison Avenue, as it used 655 Madison for a tropical vacation menswear collection as well as its ‘Louis Vuitton Masters – a collaboration with Jeff Koons” which featured handbags decorated as if they were painted by old masters, including van Gogh and da Vinci.
The brand also opened a travel pop-up in Brookfield Place in 2017 in conjunction with its bustling “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton” exhibition in the American Stock Exchange building at nearby 86 Trinity Place in the Financial District.