Trunk Show: Celebrating Louis Vuitton with 200 Trunks

Louis Vuitton: 200 Trunks, 200 Visionaries, The Exhibition

Louis Vuitton turned 200 recently, and Louis Vuitton – the brand – has been honoring Louis Vuitton – its founder – with a traveling exhibition of 200 trunks designed by 200 visionaries. It is a free exhibit – probably the only free I will ever experience when coupled with the words Louis Vuitton – that is housed in the old Barneys building on Madison Avenue.

I missed the intial frenzy to get to the Exhibit, so getting the time that I wanted over a weekend was a breeze. While this Exhibit has been posted, reposted, and shared about all over the news and social media, I was pleasantly surprised at being wowed by it in person. Here is what Barneys is looking like from the outside these days for Louis 200 New York –

The entrance had an introduction to the Exhibit, and then various rooms had people that were guiding visitors through some of the trunks and the vision of the artist behind the creative aspects of it.

There was a Lego birthday cake to celebrate LV at the entrance –

We walked in through a tunnel to Follow the Light into an room with an illuminated trunk. In all this, the names of the artists behind each trunk escape me, and I am sure I am missing the full experience for not co-relating each artist with their work, but it was a sensory overload with all the trunks on display, and the sheer volume of them!

We moved on to a piece that reflected the future of travel with a motorized trunk that was opening and closing automatically.

The room after this had a design on the trunk that had been blown up as wallpaper in the walls that surrounded it, giving us a lot to take in here!

We then walked into a room that was like a warehouse full of trunks, stacked up as they would be in ships and planes for travel. As you can see, it was very overwhelming visually, hence the focus on the trunks over the artists that made them.

The Exhibition then moved to another level, and each escalator that we used throughout the Exhibit was dimly lit with these framed messages on the wall –

We then encountered a trunk created by Frank Zapata – his name is on the trunk so this one I know! – which was a flying trunk as we could see being projected on the wall, though I wish the one in the room had been flying –

The next trunk was the funnest (did I just make up a word?) of them all as it was made of balloons, and surrounded by them as well, making for a colorful Instagram worthy backdrop that I had not thankfully seen online before.

Next up was a single trunk in a room that had the tableau in it blown up on the wall behind it.

Then we encountered a dimly lit room with a trunk that even Houdini could not have escaped out of with with all its leather straps outside it.

I loved the trunk designed by Refik Anadol with his signature computer generations behind it, this time of LV branded fabric.

The last level with the trunks consisted of colorful rooms full of very innovative trunks all over –

Here are some that I felt needed their own space –

This was a trunk that came with a video behind it and pictures on the wall that said Mind, Mine.

And this trunk didn’t look like much, till you got up close and saw that it was a Manifesto for a Human Centered Education.

After this ended we headed on down to the ‘Residency’ in the basement, past a Lego robot on the way. The Residency was full of really fun activities that lots of people had engaged in.

There as an activity to write with Gloria Steinem and reflect with Barry Kau.

Visitors could also color small trunks that were provided to take home.

My favorite was a board where people had written all the reasons they love New York! This activitiy was called Everday New York City with Napkin Poetry Review, which required people to write 2-4 lines of poetry on a paper square. The description said – It doesn’t need big words, it doesn’t need to rhyme. But try to connect it to your body and mind. Prompt: How does New York City inspire you?

We had to walk through the store before making our way out. I was very amused as I bought a poster for my newly started not sure when I am going with as I have no room to hang them poster collection, and was very clearly informed that I could not get an exhibition cloth bag (picture below) as my purchase was not big enough for it. Oh well.

I loved that I had gone in expecting to see a fashion exhibit, but came out having experienced so much more at a great celebration of 200 years of Louis Vuitton’s legacy.


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Hi, I'm Hanit Gyani, a full time professional by day and a blogger by night and weekend. Welcome to my blog, aka my passion project, Gotta Love New York.


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