Louis Vuitton + Daniel Buren

The set of Louis Vuitton’s spring/summer 2013 runway show caused the jaws of fashionistas all over the world to drop at first sight, paralyzing many in a state of complete awe. Creative Director Marc Jacobs had enlisted artists  to showcase their talents in the form of set design for his shows before (read about his collaboration with Rachel Feinstein here), but in this instance, he pushed the envelope even further.

Just weeks before the show, Jacobs met with conceptual artist Daniel Buren, known for painting vertical stripes in a variety of public locations, including a most noteworthy installation in 1986 where he covered one of the courtyards of the Palais-Royal in Paris with columns featuring those signature stripes. Jacobs asked if Buren would be willing to design the set of his upcoming show—set to take place in the center courtyard in the Louvre—giving the artist complete creative freedom over concept and design.

Buren at first thought there was no way he could design the installation within such a short time frame, but boy did he impress the world with the perfectly-executed end result. The floor of the courtyard was outfitted with a grand white and yellow checkerboard pattern—the same that could also be found in numerous iterations throughout the 60’s-inspired collection itself. Four gigantic escalators were brought in to transport the paired-off models from the start of the “runway” to where the checkered floor began. Buren and Vuitton’s collaboration extended beyond the runway, with the checkerboard motif reappearing in the accompanying ad campaign and in the brand’s current window displays for the launch of the collection.


A wide look at the set as all the models pose on the escalators


A few of the paired-model looks from the collection

ad campaign

The ad campaign, with the yellow checkerboard motif a prominent element

store windows

An example of a store window design


Buren’s Palais Royal installation