Pharrell and Tyler, the Creator Remix a Classic Tote

THOUGH LOUIS VUITTON’S name is now synonymous with luxury fashion, his beginnings were remarkably humble: The designer was raised by his father, a farmer, and his mother, a milliner, in the rural town of Anchay in eastern France. In 1835, a 14-year-old Vuitton embarked — by foot — on a 280-mile, two-year pilgrimage to Paris, where he spent nearly two decades mastering the art of box making under the tutelage of a prominent malletier. Following his appointment as the official trunk maker for Napoleon III’s wife, Eugénie de Montijo, Vuitton opened his first luggage shop in 1854 near Place Vendôme, where he sold leather travel goods and canvas steamer trunks. Vuitton’s business was strong enough that in 1888, his only son, Georges, trademarked his now-signature checkerboard Damier print. The company’s steamer bag, which was intended to contain laundry on trans-Atlantic voyages, debuted in 1901; in the 1930s, the brand released the Keepall, a foldable tote, originally made from cotton canvas, that was small enough to be tucked into larger suitcases.

An ad for Louis Vuitton’s Keepall bag that appeared in the Sept. 9, 1964, edition of The New York Times.Credit…Archives Louis Vuitton Malletier

Now, Louis Vuitton’s men’s creative director, Pharrell Williams, and the musician Tyler, the Creator are reimagining the 1930s Keepall as the Damier Golf. (Williams’s spring 2024 collection, presented on the Pont Neuf bridge in Paris this past June, introduced Damoflage, his first reworking of the house’s archival Damier print, on monogrammed overcoats, slouchy suits and wool jacquard jackets.) The new bag’s coated canvas, featuring a checkered celadon motif, conjures the color of a lush fairway; an image of Tyler’s favorite dog has been printed onto the duffel’s interior lining; and a bubble gum pink removable charm shaped like a flower adorns the natural cowhide leather top handles. It’s a playful reinterpretation of house codes that feels as evergreen as the Keepall itself.

Photo assistant: Michelle Garcia

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