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Louis Vuitton Supports the Red Cross & Auctions 6 Special Order Artist Editions

Louis Vuitton Celebrates 150 Years of Excellence in Savoir-Faire With a Special Tribute to the Red Cross

First off, throughout the month of November, Louis Vuitton, North America will be donating a percentage of sales on their US website of four iconic pieces; the Keepall, Speedy, Noe and Alma to the American Red Cross in honor of the 150th anniversary.

The Keepall was originally created as a back-up bag included in the Louis Vuitton trunk and quickly became the ultimate weekend tote. The Speedy was created in 1930 but became famous when it was redesigned specifically for Audrey Hepburn in the 1960s. The Noe was invented by Gaston Louis Vuitton to perfectly hold five champagne bottles. The Alma was originally inspired by the Art Deco movement and has become a recognizable symbol of Louis Vuitton.
Shop for them now here thru Nov. and support the Red Cross.

The Six Special Collaborations:

In addition to the special offering on Louis Vuitton North America's website, Louis Vuitton is celebrating the anniversary worldwide through exceptional Special Order collaborations with six different artists and designers.

Since its creation in 1854, Louis Vuitton has offered customers the possibility of producing Special Orders to cater a specific need or to fulfil a particular desire. In order to celebrate over a century and a half of exceptional savoir-faire at Louis Vuitton’s first workshop in Asnières, France, Louis Vuitton offered six masters of savoir-faire the opportunity to create a unique Special Order that embodies their exceptional expertise in their respective professions.

The six personalities are the artist Damien Hirst, the chef Ferran Adrià, the photographer Annie Leibovitz , the musician and composer Gustavo Santaolalla, the designer Marc Jacobs and Patrick Louis-Vuitton, the head of Louis Vuitton's Special Orders department and a member of the fifth generation of the Vuitton family. Each piece was designed by Patrick-Louis Vuitton in collaboration with the personality.

Annie Leibowitz and her LV Monogram Nomadic Photographer's Bag:

The bag being constructed in the Asnieres workshop:

Marc Jacobs' LV Monogram Dog Crate:

The crate being constructed in the Asnieres workshop:

Ferran Adrià and his LV Damier Graphite Travel Luggage:

The luggage being constructed in the Asnieres workshop:

Gustavo Santaolalla's LV Instrument Case:

The case being constructed in the Asnieres workshop:

Patrick Louis-Vuitton and his Compartmentalized Case:

The case being constructed in the Asnieres workshop:

Damien Hirst's Medical Cabinet:

Uniting tradition and modernity, these pieces are testament to Louis Vuitton’s savoir-faire in the domain of Special Orders. Ranging from hard-frame to soft-sided, they are interpreted in a variety of materials, from Monogram and Damier Graphite canvas, to Nomade leather and alligator.

The Asnieres workshop (above) was the sole production facility for Louis Vuitton from 1859 to 1977 and is where all hard-frame luggage, special orders, exotic leather and limited-edition bags continue to be made today. For over a century and a half the workshop has been the living symbol of the company's unique combination of tradition and innovation.

In addition to the unique special orders created by the masters of savoir-faire, the auction will also include a limited-edition Red Cross medical trunk, crafted by Louis Vuitton to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Red Cross:

The LV Red Cross Medical Kit:

above and below: The hard-sided case in Monogram canvas, equipped with Louis Vuitton’s signature natural leather handle, brass S-lock and corners, opens frontally to reveal an array of red and grey aluminum medicine boxes arranged in such a way as to form the familiar emblem of the RedCross. The logo of the Red Cross is hand-painted on the front of the case.

You can see some more wonderful images of the Louis Vuitton Medical Chest being built here at Hypebeast.

The Special Order pieces will be offered in a charity auction held at Sotheby's in London on November 17th with proceeds donated to the Red Cross. The proceeds from the auction will be donated to the Red Cross for their Fight against Malnutrition program in Nigeria.

These Special Orders will have traveled the world to cities such as Mexico City, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Dubai, Seoul and New York between July and November 2009, for a series of exclusive viewings by clients of Sotheby’s and Louis Vuitton.

Discussing this charity auction, Yves Carcelle, President of Louis Vuitton said: “For over a century and a half, Louis Vuitton's Asnières workshop has been the living symbol of the company's unique combination of tradition and innovation. To mark this important anniversary, Louis Vuitton will celebrate ‘l’Excellence du Savoir-Faire’ through its heritage of Special Orders by partnering with some of today’s iconic figures who themselves possess a rare expertise.”

Cheyenne Westphal, Sotheby’s Chairman of Contemporary Art Europe, commented: “We are thrilled to host this gala dinner charity auction in November, the proceeds of which will benefit such a worthy cause. The auction will showcase pieces created by some of the most talented individuals in their respective professions and the sale of these limited-edition pieces will no doubt generate tremendous excitement and interest.”

All information and images courtesy of Louis Vuitton, Red Cross and Sotheby's.

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