The Pechuga Blog / Josephine Baker
Not too long ago I posted a photo of Louis Vuitton monogrammed boot on my Instagram stories (I post new arrivals, inspiration, and my obsession du jour there - it allows me to openly interact with y'all and I want to believe that it sort of gives insight to the method to Pechuga's madness). I was surprised to see how much attention the LV boot garnered with questions pouring in asking me where to buy and why I had also tagged Vivienne Westwood. Many, as I found out, weren't aware of the Vivienne Westwood for Louis Vuitton collaboration. And here is where things got interesting. By the way I don't think the boot was ever sent to production. Sorry to break it to y'all.
The elusive boot
The year was 1996. Pokémon had just been introduced to the world, Bill Clinton had just gotten re-elected, and the Louis Vuitton monogrammed canvas was turning a cool 100 years old. To commemorate the centennial, Louis Vuitton commissioned seven leading designers of the time to create a unique item and interpret the monogram.
The designers and their creations:
Azzedine Alaia - Leo Alma bag
Manolo Blahnik - Oval travel trunk
Romeo Gigli - Cylindrical shoulder bag (for the life of me I could not find the ad)
Helmut Lang - Record trunk
Isaac Mizrahi - Transparent plastic shopping bag
Sybilla - Bag pack with umbrella
Vivienne Westwood - Bum bag
The pieces all ranged from 450-26,000 Francs (around $650 - $4,500 in 1996) with the Gigli, Alaïa, Mizrahi, Sybilla pieces produced in larger quantities and the Lang, Blahnik, and Westwood pieces produced in limited issues. The Westwood "Faux cul" (fake ass in English) bag was made in a quantity of 100 (Westwood herself confirmed it in a 1996 interview).
Pechuga is the mannequin
To launch the release of these items Louis Vuitton had parties all over the world in all the major cities: Paris, Rome, London, Madrid, New York, and Hong Kong. There was even a themed event where two giant bananas clad in the Vivienne Westwood Louis Vuitton bum bags danced along with models dressed as Josephine Baker.
The bags the bananas are wearing are next on my list
I have a list of clients that in turn have a list of items they're looking for. I go through these lists every so often to see what items I come across and for whom. Being the Westwood fanatic that I am I thought to myself, "Hmm, now wouldn't it be great if I could find this bag? Now wouldn't it be great to have an excuse to buy it?" Hours of e-mails, some phone calls, a meltdown with my assistant, and a credit card charge later: EUREKA! The coveted bum bag was mine. All mine. Out of 100 issues I was able to get the 66th one. The 66th! Sorry. Still freaking out over it.
Nadja Auermann (left), Vivienne Westwood, SS1996 "Les femmes"; Model wearing "Les femmes" jacket and hat with LV bum bag shot by Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin
I texted the first name on my LV x VW Bum Bag list. A client that recently impressed me with her Vivienne Westwood, "Pagan V" Spring Summer 1990 cow print, chiffon ensemble (you either get it or you don't). The exchange I had with her went something like this:
"Hey girl. I found the VW x LV bum bag."
"Yes. Need. Done."
"Cool. Kthnx. Yay. Bye."
If you guys read the Dazed article on Pechuga last month you may have realized I talk like a surfer guy on the phone...well I text like a valley girl. There's no in between and I don't know how to quite feel about that (I blame growing up in Los Angeles).
Now on with the bag! It arrived yesterday. And I can not even begin to describe the NERVES. Was it going to be in the condition I was told it was going to be in? Was I going to have to make angry phone calls? Was my hunt going to be worth it? Was I going to cry?
Well the hunt was worth it. I tried on the bag. Beautiful. I put it on my mannequin. Stunning. I hopped in a car with my precious cargo and off into the sunset I rode to deliver it to its final destination.
Vivienne Westwood wearing the LV bum bag and boots, shot by Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin
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Thank you for reading and until next time!