Bloggers, editors, and shoppers congregated yesterday at Louis Vuitton's Fifth Avenue flagship to see the much-talked-about Yayoi Kusama collaboration in person. The Japanese artist, along with Louis Vuitton chairman and CEO Yves Carcelle, counted down the unveiling of the window installations, which featured wax figurines of Yayoi — and a nearly life-size version that confused a few tourists. The chic crowd eventually headed inside to check out the goods, but not before Yayoi herself gave a breathless speech, saying, "Today is a very happy day." Photographer Bek Andersen captured the attendees, ranging from VIP clients to regular folk, the latter group ready to storm the store when it opened to the public that afternoon. See the gathering of Louis Vuitton handbags, a bunch of well-groomed males, and the dottiness of it all, in our slideshow ahead.
Bonang Matheba, television presenter, D.J., and model, South Africa
You look like you own a lot of Louis Vuitton. [Laughs] I’ve got so much Louis Vuitton it’s insane. I’m wearing Louis Vuitton head to toe.
Jackie Burger, editor of Elle South Africa
Are you a big fan of Louis Vuitton? I think what Marc Jacobs has been doing with Vuitton — his creation, his innovation is just unstoppable. And also the Kusama collaboration is something really, really special.
Cannon Hodge, social media manager for Bergdorf Goodman
Why did you come today? We thought we should support our neighbors across the street. Being someone who’s into windows, and window installations, this seemed like a good thing to come and watch.
Amandine, consultant for Louis Vuitton in Paris
Yoshi Tamura, art designer from Japan
So you helped design the windows? I worked on the little Yayoi Kusama dolls in the window. [My work partner] had to do a mold of her face. How long did that take you? Two months.
Vera Felix, editor-in-chief of Nylon Mexico
I like your leggings. They're from Rodarte, the collaboration they did with Opening Ceremony. So you must like collaborations. It’s funny how two worlds can come together.
Louis Vuitton store on Fifth Avenue
Simona, fashion PR manager in Italy
Is your tongue pierced? Yes. I got it three years ago. Did it hurt? No! My tongue was really swollen, but... [shrugs].
Alexandra Pereira, blogger from Spain
So, why are you here? We are guests of Louis Vuitton. They flew us out for the event.
Pelayo Diaz, blogger from Spain
Are you a big fan of Louis Vuitton? Yeah. I’ve got good memories. What do you mean? Like, for example, when I didn’t want to finish high school, my mom told me if I finished high school I could get whatever I wanted. And I said, okay, if I finish high school I want a Louis Vuitton suitcase. And she got it for me, and then I moved away.
Christian Poulot, fashion teacher at Mod’Art International in Paris
What do you think of the collaboration? I think it’s a fantastic, terrific exhibition. The association between Louis Vuitton and Kusama is very interesting. Think you’ll buy anything? Perhaps some accessories. I like the bangles — they are for women, but that’s okay!
Randy Federgreen, president of Ports 1961 and Creative 18
So, why are you here? I collect bags from Louis Vuitton, and I’m here to see the polka-dot bags. Do you think you’ll buy a bag from this collaboration? I think I might buy two! What color polka dots do you like? Yellow. Because I don’t have a yellow bag. So you need one. Yeah. If there’s only red left I’m going to be bummed because I already have the Murakami bag in red.
Marinet Matthee, model
Are you in town for the event? I was one of the models inside. Did you have to wear one of the pink Yayoi wigs? Yeah ... hence my hair, looking like this.
Nicolas Sporri, events project manager for Louis Vuitton in Paris
How long have you worked at Louis Vuitton? Seven years. How many Louis Vuitton bags do you own? I don’t know! Maybe ten? More?
Christopher Bouzy, Natalia Bouzy, and Jennifer Harrison
Are you fans of the brand? Jennifer, about Natalia: She’s a super-fan of the Louis Vuitton bag. How many bags do you have? Natalia: Four. Did you buy anything? Natalia: Not yet, but I’m hoping to get something!
Line outside the store
Fabiola Zamora, owner of 192 magazine
What are you wearing? My shoes are Dieppa Restrepo, my skirt is vintage.
Nadine Edelstein, gallery owner from Berlin
Wataru Shimosato, street-style photographer
Do you like Yayoi Kusama? I’m a really big fan of Yayoi because we graduated from the same high school. We are from the same town. We have a Yayoi museum in our town.
Rui Yokoo, student and intern at 3.1 Phillip Lim in New York
Zoya Singh, student in India
Who is your dress by? Topshop. It’s good for the summer. I like mixing high street with designer. That’s my style.
Zina Singh, student in India
Are you a fan of Louis Vuitton? I’m a fan of fashion rather than a particular brand. Because my fashion is my life. Art and fashion together excites me. This is a piece of art, rather than a brand.
Armando Takeda, fashion designer from Mexico
Why are you here? I’m actually in town for the Premiere Vision trade show, but I had to stop by.
Claudia Saide, blogger
Where is your necklace from? It's Marni for H&M.
Lauren Silverstein, director of events and retail marketing at Christian Dior in New York
Line outside the store
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