While Louis Vuitton has evolved since its days as an artisanal luggage maker, it has never strayed too far from its travel roots. In May, the brand will launch two new titles in its stylish Travel Books Collection. 29-year-old Belgian cartoonist Brecht Evens offers a fresh look at the city of Paris (above), while one of China’s most important contemporary painters, 53-year-old Liu Xiaodong, depicts his real life experiences in South Africa.
Since 2013, Vuitton has been inviting artists to illustrate this series of tomes (if you love Tintin and Herge, you’ll love its Scotland edition). True to the artistic process, the artists (both emerging and established) are given carte-blanche to respond to a place previously unknown to them.
Acting as modern-day flaneurs, they document their impressions and personal visions of the place across the blank pages. The result? We too feel like we’re on the journey, encountering both familiar and unexpected scenes. Also free to choose their mode of expression, the books range from drawing, painting, collage, contemporary art, illustration, cartoon or manga.
Past titles in the collection include New York by Jean-Philippe Delhomme; London by the young Japanese illustrator Natsko Seki; Vietnam by Italian Lorenzo Mattotti; The Arctic by Irish artist Blaise Drummond and Venice by the celebrated manga master Jirô Taniguchi.
While all the books can all be considered artworks in their own right, Singapore’s Island Maison store (#B1-38/39 & #B2-36/37/37A Marina Bay Sands) will include one limited edition signed and numbered copy of Evens’ Paris book, retailing at $4,000. Bound in leather and presented in a large format (39 x 27 x 2cm), it features an original lithograph and a slipcase. $86 each, available at all Louis Vuitton stores from May 2016.