The ability to travel with one’s mind has become a necessary skill as of late. Transporting through our social media feeds is something we’ve gotten pretty good at, in fact. But through objects that live in our homes? Now that’s an entirely different proposition, and something that is explored with Cabinet of Curiosities, a new collection of Louis Vuitton trunks transformed into stylish display cases by Australian designer Marc Newson.
The latest collaboration between Newson and the French luxury house launched earlier this year at Milan’s annual design fair, Salone de Mobile, and features 19 leather-covered cubes which can be mixed and matched within large-scale monogram trunks. Some of the cubes have covered compartments for valuables, while others are the perfect showcase for everything from books to travel souvenirs. The cubes can be rearranged into over 1,000 configurations with various colour combinations for endless personalisation. Marrying high design with a nod to the bygone era of travel, the pieces are the ultimate must-haves for décor diehards and globetrotters alike.
“The intention was to create a fun and sculptural piece that would pay homage to the history of the trunk. It’s a highly functional shelving system and the practicality of this within what could otherwise be considered a specialty piece is appealing,” says Newson.
In Milan, where the trunks were revealed inside a largescale silver structure inspired by their modular nature, Louis Vuitton trinkets (including a monogrammed speed racer and an antique jewellery box) illuminated the many idiosyncratic options available within each trunk’s clever construction. Salone del Mobile is a wellspring of innovation for fashion and luxury brands across diverse disciplines and Louis Vuitton’s multi-faceted exhibition brought some of its best work to the forefront. “I’ve been very lucky with the organizations I’ve been able to work with and I’ve always striven to work with the best because these companies allow me to express myself creatively and there is synchronicity between our teams,” says Newson. “Louis Vuitton is undoubtedly the leader in its field in terms of craftsmanship and savoir faire and it is both relieving and inspiring to find others as obsessed with quality and detail as I am.”
“Louis Vuitton is undoubtedly the leader in its field in terms of craftsmanship and savoir faire, and it is both relieving and inspiring to find others as obsessed with quality and detail as I am.”– Marc Newson
Louis Vuitton trunks have come to symbolize travelling in style and in Cabinet of Curiosities Newson brings the joy and history of the voyage into our most personal spaces. “Travel used to be a romantic event, a quality that is lost these days. The trunk is in many ways emblematic of this bygone era. Suffice to say it would be slightly impractical to travel with one now, in a traditional sense,’ says Newson. “They’re wonderful—if slightly whimsical— relics of another time that Louis Vuitton has preserved and made current.” In capturing this history, the reimagined trunks become readymade heirlooms that continue to tell their own story. “I especially like the concept of having something forever and then for generations to come to pass down,” says Newson.