Unable to tolerate his new living arrangement after his father’s second marriage, Louis Vuitton left home in 1835 at the age of 14 to start his apprenticeship as a trunk-maker. Through his determination to succeed and innovative designs, Vuitton was able to established his own workshop in 1854. However, Vuitton never saw his namesake label’s legendary Monogram pattern. Its introduction came four years after his death in 1896, when Vuitton’s son George, unveiled it as a way to honor his late father.
To mark its 160th anniversary and the LV Monogram, the fashion powerhouse that Vuitton established invited six innovative designers to re-imagine the label’s central theme with a flair all their own. This included the Sydney-based Marc Newson. An industrial designer by training and best known for his organic designs, Newson selected the lowly backpack to be his ideal centerpiece for the project. He explained...
I design things that fundamentally I would like to own. Most of the time I am presented with a very defined task. This time I ultimately thought of the typology myself: a backpack.
I set about trying to collate all of my experiences over the years of owning a backpack. I wanted to concentrate all of the features that I love and try and put them into the piece. Making the thing stand up for example was very important, I hate when you wear a backpack, take it off and it just falls over. This bag has a structure inside to enable it to stand.
I wanted to explore the Monogram functional qualities. If you go back to the reason why the Monogram canvas was invented, it’s because it’s durable and it’s weather proof. In the bag it performs a very specific function; I deliberately used it around the base so it almost became like a tyre on a car, or a sole on a shoe. Obviously you still see it, but it has a purpose.
I wanted it to be fun as well—I don’t like when things take themselves too seriously. I want objects that put a smile on people’s faces, make them laugh and question their own seriousness. I used a textile that juxtaposed the utility of the Monogram with something more light-hearted, that’s why I chose to use the furry sheepskin. It’s cuddly and warm and comes in bright colors, but it is also durable and like a pillow; if I ever want to prop the bag up and have a snooze I can.
Modeled by the beautiful Liya Kebede and Freja Beha Erichsen, the Louis Vuitton Fleece Pack by Marc Newson is made of LV Monogram canvas and shearling with hidden top handle, shearling-padded retractable shoulder straps and zipper pulls in Newson’s signature design. Lined with microfiber and mesh compartments, the pack comes in three colors. All are available now at select Louis Vuitton flagship store locations worldwide.