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Louis Vuitton Taps Rival Karl Lagerfeld for Monogram Bag Collaboration

He and a number of other designers and artists are working on a project to fete Louis Vuitton's 160th anniversary.

When Marc Jacobs left Louis Vuitton, many wondered if his replacement would carry on the tradition of collaborating with other artists that he had established at the house.

The brand's first such collaboration under new Artistic Director Nicolas Ghesquiere has just been announced. Not one, but six artists and designers will create monogram bags and luggage for an "Iconoclasts" project due out this fall to mark the house's 160th anniversary. They are: Karl Lagerfeld, Frank Gehry, Cindy Sherman, Rei Kawakubo, Christian Louboutin and Marc Newson. The pieces will range in price from $2,725 to $5,450.

Although Jacobs did collaborate with artists like Takashi Murakami and Yayoi Kusama, this initiative also recalls a 1996 (pre-MJ) collab for which Manolo Blahnik, Azzedine Alaia, Helmut Lang and others created products out of logo'd canvas.

According to WWD, the project was conceived not by Ghesquiere, but by Delphine Arnault, who has really been making her mark at LVMH lately, as she also spearheaded the recent LVMH Prize and the house's other recent investments in young designers. That said, Ghesquiere did reportedly help Arnault make the selections, the most surprising of which might be Karl Lagerfeld, as he designs for one of Louis Vuitton's biggest luxury rivals, Chanel.

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Of course, Lagerfeld also designs ready-to-wear for LVMH-owned Fendi and is said to be part of the LVMH family. He was on the jury panel for the LVMH Prize and once said that Bernard Arnault has given him two "Balloon Venus" sculptures by Jeff Koons as gifts. It's only natural that he'd want to return the favor. According to the trade, he has designed a "punching bag."

Sadly, no images of this are available yet, but stay tuned -- the brand is set to release a special ad campaign, website and book all around this project.