Art, fashion, and architecture: How legendary Pritzker winner Frank Gehry fuses all in one Louis Vuitton handbag collection

A modern architectural icon, the Canadian-born American Frank Gehry has designed some of the world's most daring and famous buildings over his nearly seven-decade career, namely the Dancing House in Prague, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and more freshly, the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris.

Now, at age 94, the Pritzker Prize-winning architect is bringing his logic-defying style to another medium: the handbag. At this year's Art Basel Miami Beach, Gehry debuted an exclusive handbag collection in collaboration with Louis Vuitton, with four themes including Architecture and Form, Animals, Twisted Box, and Material Exploration.

The capsule collection, which blends Gehry's eccentric designs and the French Maison's savoir-faire, features nine pieces that translate his previous architectural and sculptural projects into wearable art, the majority of which are based on Louis Vuitton's classic Capucines silhouettes in a variety of sizes. 

While the official release date is to be announced, what is known is that these limited-edition handbags will be issued in varying quantities with prices ranging from €10,000 to 30,000 (US$11,000 to 33,000). 

Without further ado, let's take a look at every single piece in the Louis Vuitton x Frank Gehry collection. 

The limited-edition collection debuted in a museum-like way at Art Basel Miami Beach 2023

The Pritzker Prize winner Frank Gehry is widely recognized as one of the most important architects of our age 

Architecture and Form    

Capucines BB Analog Bag

The IAC Building in New York

Calling to mind deconstructivist architecture at first glance, here the iconic Louis Vuitton Capucines bag is transformed into three architectural masterpieces that echo some of Frank Gehry's most renowned projects. 

The Analog, of the strongest form, is entirely sculpture, with just a hint of Capucines' classic shape remaining. It is inspired by the angled facade design of the IAC Building in New York, and recreated using bespoke molds and adorned with screen-printed leather, those crisp lines demonstrating the Maison's extraordinary craftmanship.

Capucines MM Concrete Pockets

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

The Concrete Pockets, which reinterprets Gehry's signature curved lines as seen in The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, is brought to life through the use of a cutting-edge 3D printing technique that produces different textures and tones resembling concrete. Not to be missed is the special fluid LV logo which the architect particularly designed for this bag. 

As for Shimmer Haze, it is an homage to the kaleidoscopic facade of Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture, tracing the process of its development from a transparent architectural model. On the bag, six panels of clear Plexiglas are joined together by brass rivets embossed with the Maison's Monogram flower, which forms a protective layer over the iridescent PVC coating of its exterior. 

Capucines BB Shimmer Haze

The Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle


Capucines MM Floating Fish

Frank Gehry | Fish Lamp (2014) | Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris

"The fish is a perfect form," Frank Gehry once said.

In the 1970s, when many of his contemporaries felt that historical ornament could be the answer to the bottleneck of modernism, the forward-looking architect responded, "If you feel the need to go back in time, don’t go to the Romans and the Greeks, go back 300 million years earlier to fish!"

And so Gehry turned to the fish, not to stand in for his sarcastic rhetoric, but because the creature's curve and movement offered a complete vocabulary from which he could draw. Since then, the fish has been a recurring motif in Gehry’s work, almost totemic for him, recognizable in the undulating, curvilinear forms of his architecture as well as various sculpture projects.

Here, emulating the piscine light fixtures that Gehry designed for the Fondation Louis Vuitton in 2014, the Capucines MM Floating Fish displays a luminous multi-colored fish that fuses 3D leather and Plexiglas marquetry to form textural scales, in an ode to freedom and lightness. 

Bear With Us Clutch

Frank Gehry | Bear With Us (2014) | The New Orleans Museum of Art

Other designs with the theme of Animals allowed the architect to explore a more playful side.

Perhaps the most stunning of all, the Bear with Us Clutch is a miniature iteration of his 2014 life-sized ursine sculpture at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Truly a wearable art, the mini-bear clutch is crafted from brass with a ruthenium finish, which also exemplifies Louis Vuitton's historic artistry in exquisite details and metalwork.

The Capucines BB Croc, with a reptile-shaped handle, takes cues from the four-meter sculpture he created for the London restaurant Sexy Fish – where Damien Hirst also installed a pair of bronze mermaids. Contrasting the glittering, black-toned brass crocodile is an abstract neon-yellow digital print exterior, meticulously adorned with a two-tone resin LV logo. 

Capucines BB Croc

Frank Gehry’s crocodile sculpture created for the London restaurant Sexy Fish

Twisted Box

Black Twisted Box

Silver Twisted Box

The Twisted Box was originally developed for Louis Vuitton's Celebrating Monogram project in 2014, when Gehry gave the Maison's monogram canvas Trunk bag a sculptural twist that speaks to his building shapes. Now, in celebration of Louis Vuitton's history, it is revisited in two colorways: a sleek shade of black, and the edgy silver.

In an interview with WWD, the architect-designer said, "I think it has stood the test of time. It becomes a sculpture in its own right. That’s interesting. It’s very fun. I can imagine a young lady using it, all dressed up in a business suit, going to an interview. That would be a pretty powerful object to sit on the table in front of your interviewer."

One powerful woman who had a special fondness for the statement piece was Rihanna. The superstar and businesswoman was first spotted carrying the original Twisted Box in 2014 – and it barely left her hand until 2016. 

On the resale market, Christie’s sold one in 2015, a year after its inception, for US$4,375; now on Sotheby's Buy Now – the auction house's online platform for immediate purchase – there's one available, which carries a price tag of US$9,500 with the condition of "Very Good". 

Rihanna was spotted carrying the original twisted box on multiple occasions from 2014 to 2016

Material Exploration

Capucines Mini Puzzle

Lastly, a set of two mini Capucines bags references the architect's exploration of the material's possibilities, in line with what he always does in his imagination-defying buildings that incorporate unorthodox materials such as corrugated steel, chain-link fencing, and unpainted plywood.

The Capucines Mini Puzzle, for instance, reveals lambskin adorned with a hand-painted aquarelle print, creating a playful take on the Maison’s style codes. The delicately embroidered fabric pieces form a beguiling bouquet of interlocking petals, accented by an elongated silver-toned metal handle.

Another piece, the Capucines Mini Blossom, takes inspiration from his Les Extraits perfume bottle cap designed for Louis Vuitton in 2021, mirroring his distinctive Murano glass floral creation. Reimagined in giant resin petals, the intricate limited-edition design reveals a profusion of colors, accentuated by a hammered LV logo.

Capucines Mini Blossom

Frank Gehry’s Les Extraits perfume bottle cap designed for Louis Vuitton in 2021