Behind the HYPE: How the Louis Vuitton Monogram Became A Global Phenomenon

From Coco Chanel to Dapper Dan to Kanye West, the LV monogram owes its hype to a little help from high-profile friends.

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From the Lakers’ NBA 2020 Championship trophy case to Cardi B’s hair, its news to no one that the Louis Vuitton monogram is everywhere. But maintaining this level of hype over hype for over a century is no simple feat. So how exactly did they do it?

This installment of Behind the HYPE examines the evolution of the LV monogram from a signifier of luxury travel to a global phenom and collaborative holy grail.

When Virgil Abloh was appointed to artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear, he joined the world’s most valuable luxury brand, and French house owes much to its monogram in this rise. Takashi Murakami‘s 13-year (and monogram heavy) artistic collaboration with the brand became its most lucrative and successful collaborations of all time and paved the way for boundary-bending art world reinterpretations that continue through today.

The brand’s proliferation throughout pop culture is two-fold. Starting with one of the LV monogram’s first high-profile fans Coco Chanel and continuing up through “Louis Vuitton Don” (a.k.a Kanye West), the Louis Vuitton hasn’t lacked for friends in high places. But it also hasn’t lacked for a broader, youth-oriented audience of eager buyers due in large part to Dapper Dan, who customized pieces incorporating the LV monogram, among other luxury insignia, throughout the early ’80s.

Watch in the video above as HYPEBEAST delves into the monogram’s origins, its various collaborators and its rise to icon status. And check out previous installments of Behind the HYPE featuring Takashi Murakami’s flowers, League of Legends and more.

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