Tuesday, September 29, 2009

IN THE RED: Annie Leibovitz Gets to Work

Renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz, who just recently staved off near financial ruin by postponing the collection of her outstanding $24 million loan, is still seeing red.

But this time, the color has a more positive association – that is, contributions to the Red Cross in the form of bespoke leather goods.

Leibovitz, along with five other artistic icons, is
guest designing leatherwear to be assembled by Louis Vuitton's master craftsmen at its Asnieres workshop near Paris, which will then be sold at a Sotheby’s auction in London on November 17th, with proceeds benefiting the scarlet charity as it commemorates 150 years of global goodwill.

Having shot the likes of Sofia and Francis Ford Coppola for Vuitton's “core values” campaign, Leibovitz is familiar with spreading goodwill on an international scale – remember the
Demi Moore-nearly nude-pregancy shot? That was groundbreaking. How could we as a society have possibly functioned without the decades of unclothed celebrity mommies-to-be that followed? (I’m only being half sarcastic here.)

The slightly androgynous photographer stayed true to her utilitarian roots when designing for LV. She requested a spacious backpack – no handbags here, ladies – to accommodate personal effects and photo equipment, while leaving her hands free. The monogram canvas sack is trimmed in black leather and lined with red, cushioned microfiber compartments, and it doesn’t stand alone. With her own extensive photographic paraphernalia in mind, Lebovitz’s design includes a matching rectangular shoulder camera bag, with external zippered compartments for accessories.

other contributing designers are just as varied and unique as Leibovitz herself: There’s animal installation artist Damien Hurst, Oscar-winning composer Gustavo Santaolalla, Spanish chef Ferran Adrià, LV’s head of special orders Patrick-Louis Vuitton (also a fifth-generation family member), plus LV creative director Marc Jacobs.

While I’m happy to encourage the charitable spirit, I do wish Ms. Leibovitz would do some income-generating work so we don’t soon find her hustling chop-shop photos for
NYC tourists in Central Park…

Photo credit: Louis Vuitton advertisement, July 2008.

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