The newest addition to the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year was Takashi Murakami – not only were Murakami’s Kakai and Kiki characters included in the parade, the designer himself was there, and was impossible to miss in an oversized furry flower suit – with a technicolor flower on his head, and a giant silver flower medallion on his chest. Brian Donnelly (AKA KAWS), one of Murakami’s art world peers, was in attendance, and provided some images of Murakami holding court, and of some of the more iconic floats. The Parade has been making an effort to draw in more art world energy for the past few years; in 2007, the Parade introduced a giant silver balloon by Jeff Koons, and in 2008, a Keith Haring balloon. Murakami is a blue chip artist, behind a long-term branding and design campaign for Louis Vuitton, and he recently took over the Palace at Versailles for a solo show – anyone who was questioning whether or not Murakami has earned a place in American pop culture, could simply look up on 7th Ave today, and see the artist’s work flying alongside Ronald McDonald. Murakami balloons put a different spin on the whole parade – is that Ronald McDonald balloon by Ron English? Is the Spongebob balloon a BAPE creation? Check out Murakami in costume, along with the balloons, after the jump. via: KAWS.