Bridget Foley’s Diary: Vuitton, Koons, ‘Mona Lisa’ and the Changing Status of the Big-Brand Designer

Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Titian and “Mona Lisa” herself — coming soon, to a handbag near you, if you happen by the Champs-Élysées, 57th Street and Fifth Avenue, or any of the 150 Louis Vuitton outposts where the brand’s new, flashy Jeff-Koons-has-his-way-with-the-Masters collaboration will be housed beginning April 28.
In a big, splashy, celebrity-laden party at the Louvre on April 11, under the gaze of Mona herself, Vuitton formally presented Koons’ collection of handbags and small leather goods, which had been on full view on the brand’s web site throughout the day. In pictures, at least, the bags look amazing. They’re a lot of fun, a little outrageous and beautiful — if your idea of beauty veers somewhere between bucolic romp and steely eyed Leonardo da Vinci diva, and whose doesn’t? They’re all marked with a little bunny charm indicating, “Koons worked here.” As for the rights to the paintings, just like “Happy Birthday” and “Hamlet,” these masterpieces fall under public domain, including the 500-year-old “most famous painting in the world,” whose legally co-opted image graces everything from refrigerator magnets and T-shirts to endless artists’ homages and satires. Still, the cost of this enterprise to Vuitton is unimaginable — and its anticipated returns,

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Uniqlo Recruits Mona Kim Projects to Create Holiday Windows in New York

In line with its streamlined marketing, Uniqlo has recruited Mona Kim to warm up its three New York stores with colorful heat waves.
Meant to highlight the chill-fighting technical features of Uniqlo’s apparel, there will be swaths of orange and other sunburst shades in the retailer’s three New York stores. In from Paris, Kim, a visual artist and multidisciplinary design consultant, has been holed up in a Williamsburg, Brooklyn, design studio for the past month fine-tuning the installation.
She said Monday, “I just thought it would be interesting to do something extremely simple. What if we were immersed in this transcendental color to cut through all the visual clutter that we’re surrounded by in the holiday season?”
The grading shades of colors are being placed in windows, on floors and staircases, underneath beams, display cases and up shelves. The company’s Fifth Avenue flagship should be ready Wednesday, the SoHo store will be set on Friday and the West 34th Street store should be complete on Saturday. Lumisty, a glass film that creates an optical illusion, is used in select locations. Kim first experienced the visual sensations when passing by Issey Miyake’s Pleats Please store in SoHo in the Nineties. Lumisty can appear partially

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