An interview with Artistic Director, Watches and Jewellery for Louis Vuitton, Francesca Amfitheatrof
The new LV Volt jewellery collection by Artistic Director, Watches and Jewellery for Louis Vuitton, Francesca Amfitheatrof, puts the spotlight on the capital L and V letters. These iconic initials are a metaphor for movement, an allegory for momentum, an apologia for the essential and a symbol of speed. Together they form an architectural design whose main lines become a unit of measurement in a universal language, whose powerful graphic nature transcends borders and genders.
In the first chapter, the L and V are authentically showcased in their pure form. The lines cut through space, creating angles inside, in which brilliant gold and fiery diamonds play off each other. The two capital letters come together, split apart, gather, fall away, contrast, blend, stack up, interact and complete each other, bringing to life a scene of symbols exploring light, space and rhythm through their unexpected yet inextricable resources.
We’re excited about the new collection, LV Volt Collection, launching in September. Can you please introduce the new collection in your own words?
This collection represents the world of Louis Vuitton, it’s spirit of adventure, it’s spirit of discovery, it’s strength and power.
This is the first time that you are not working on an existing pattern (like Blossom for example): how did you proceed to create an entire jewelry collection from scratch?
I would say this is the most brilliant way to work, it is total freedom. I start with an emotion, with a feeling. I believe that in life today, if things don’t touch you, if you don’t feel them, they just get lost. Emotion is very important to me. I wanted to do something that had a lot of character, that was strong, that was sassy, that was completely unisex and that had rhythm in it. I started the collection with great drummers, particularly women drummers. I do a lot of research; I begin to design in a very big, open generous way, then I start to narrow down the paths that I want to take.
What were your sources of inspiration for this collection?
Rhythm, music, having a pulsating rhythm. I always think of Louis Vuitton, of women and men stomping around the world, having a powerful step to keep on moving forward. Unstoppable, strong, sassy, and with a certain kind of sensuality.
I started to create jewelry that could be worn by everyone that could be worn by everyone and that had an immediate iconic status. That you could recognize it as being Vuitton. Also, to be different, with the bandana it is something that is an incredible piece of jewelry. I was inspired by an energy.
What is Vuitton for you and what is not?
Strength. Strength of a vison that Louis Vuitton had of understanding how the world would evolve and change. An adventure is definitely at the heart of it. The soul of Vuitton is curiosity, adventure, nature, protection. Vuitton is modern and feels relevant every day. I really see myself within that vision.
Was it important for you to create a unisex pieces?
All of the pieces are unisex, and that was extremely important to me, I believe that great design pieces should be appealing to everyone. The collection is modern and therefore can be absolutely for both women and men. Why make distinctions, we should be for everyone and completely inclusive.
What is the message of this collection?
The pieces can become classic pieces, that you can wear every day for the rest of your life and pass through generations. Great chains, rings, bangles and cuffs are things that can stay forever. The message of this collection is that it is cool, timeless, these are pieces that become part of you. The message is of generosity and inclusiveness.
How did you make the bandana: which technique did you use?
The bandana is a feat of engineering, it is made in a very special way and completely by hand. Each piece, each link is put together by hand and everything is hidden. It has a subtlety that makes it feels as though it is liquid. We were trying to use modern techniques.
What comes to your mind first when you think of ‘Louis Vuitton’?
Strength, durability and protection.
Do you have a piece that you are most attached to in the collection?
This collection is about layering so I love a great many pieces such as the rings that you can stack in different directions, the bandana, curb chain, bandana bracelet, the upside-down V. I love them all. Who best suits as the muse for the new collection?
The new collection is completely unisex, it doesn’t distinguish between sex, age, colour, it is completely universal.