Posted by Melanie Rickey, Fashion Editor at Large

2012 will be a landmark year for Louis Vuitton. Or conversely a big year for us and our interaction with brand Louis Vuitton in ways that involve more than gawping at the runway pictures (or in my case admiration from my ringside seat).

LV's first ever perfume is in progress with none other than Jacques Cavalier-Belletrud the nose behind Lancome's Poeme and Dior Addict at the mixing desk. This pretty much guarantees the fragrance will be sexy and feminine. On March 9th, a day after the close of Paris Fashion week, La Musee des Arts Decoratifs opens Louis Vuitton - Marc Jacobs exploring the parallel fashion stories of Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs on their century apart ride through the eras of, respectively, industrialisation and globalisation. The launch party on March 8th will come hours after the Vuitton show which closes Paris Fashion Week.

In addition Marc Jacobs spoke publicly for the first time about turning down the Dior job offer and why he is happy to stay at Louis Vuitton saying "It was best for everyone." :

"It’s a great honour to be considered, and Mr Arnault is a super intelligent man and a very smart man and it was certainly a very great honour for him to know that I was capable – and not only capable but that I am someone that he would have wanted for the job. But I am very happy to be here. There is so much more left to do and building Louis Vuitton into a fashion company is something nobody else can say they really started." (via Telegraph Fashion)
It is utterly enchanting that Mr Vuitton created this trunk, doll and dolls trousseau in 1865

Before all of the fashion week and exhibition hoo-ha, on February 9th, Louis Vuitton steps out as the bold face backer of "Yayoi Kusama" at Tate Modern in London. The exhibition, two years in the making with intense collaboration between the Tate and Kusama, is an epic look at the work of the 60-year career of the Japanese artist as notorious for her prodigious output of polka dot paintings as she is for her mental instability. Looking at 82-year-old Kusama's work is akin to taking a trip, only without putting the LSD on your tongue and getting on the magic carpet...

Yayoi Kusana going dotty (via 

When it was first announced that Vuitton was backing Kusama at the Tate I thought it was a missed opportunity for the brand not to collaborate with her on a special accessories and fashion collection. Anyone who remembers the frenzy and wonder of the collaborations with Murakami and Sprouse can see the dotty possibilities of what a Vuitton and Kusama product might look like.

Murakami meets Louis Vuitton 2003

When I asked the Vuitton team if such a collab was in the offing I saw a glint in their eye, but a denial came from their lips. HOWEVER they were fibbing!

Yayoi Kusama - here's hoping an adapation of this appears on an LV Speedy and a scarf come July

The artist in the 1960s

Vuitton would never miss an opportunity like this. The work of Kusama is a gift from heaven for them, and OF COURSE they are doing a collection. Marc Jacobs is a longtime admirer of Kusama so it really was only a matter of time. The February edition of Vogue confirms it, though the info is buried in Harriet Quick's excellent profile of Kusama. Well, here it is..

In July Louis Vuitton WILL oversee the global launch of its most expansive collaboration ever - bigger than both Murakami and Sprouse. Now that IS big.  It takes a lot for me to get excited about a product launch but this one has got me VERY excited. Now, Louis Vuitton PR team when oh when can we see it? And does it it mean Marc and Lorenzo (below) will have a new set of multi-coloured dotty beach bags, trunks and towels for their next vaycay? Please get back to me on this.
Image from
Yayoi Kusama is at Tate Modern from February 9 to June 5
Louis Vuitton - Marc Jacobs March 9 to 16th September