You may recognize these iconic smiling flowers and cherries because you would have seen them adorning collections of Louis Vuitton bags about 10 years back (2002 to be exact, driving fashionistas into a frenzy). Takashi Murakami is the renowned Japanese contemporary artist behind the design, and there are in fact satirical cultural and social messages that the artist wishes to convey behind such “kawaii-ness”. To me, the LV collaboration is a manifestation of Murakami’s signature Superflat theory on our society. “The world of the future, that could be like Japan, is now Superflat,” said Murakami. What he refers to is the current Japanese society’s superficiality – consumerism, commercialism, “fanshi guzzu” (fancy goods), the blurred line between “high” and “low” art. One signature style is his application of the manga and anime elements to high art, creating two-dimentional (i.e. flat) planes bursting with colors. He also has other signature creations such as Mr. DOB (see below) and skulls. I encourage you to take a dive into the work of this inspirational character who has caught Marc Jacobs’ eyes!