Billie Zangewa Translates a Cherished Swimming Scene Into Louis Vuitton’s Latest It Bag

An adaptation of that hand-stitched tapestry now graces a coveted Louis Vuitton handbag as part of the brand’s latest additions to its Artycapucines series. Here, as in the original artwork, a scrap of the scene appears to have been torn off, leaving negative space that exudes a slight uneasiness. “I’m drawn to unfinished things,” says Zangewa, explaining the fragmented language and raw edges found throughout her practice. “It shows experience and use. It creates a more sculptural feel.”

Zangewa’s new Artycapucines bag for the French Fashion House.

Photo: Ulrich Knoblauch.

Louis Vuitton’s Monogram flower.

Photo: Piotr Stokłosa.

She collaborated closely with Louis Vuitton to capture such idiosyncrasies in her Capucines rendition, a limited edition of 200, relying on the French luxury house’s legendary savoir faire. The collage’s raw silk was scanned and painstakingly printed on leather, re-creating every crease and irregularity. Slightly off-kilter stitches lend a sense of the hand, as does the metallic embroidery and beadwork used to capture the pool and the figure of her son. For a final touch, Zangewa also added a trio of gold African penguin charms—another nod to Mika, who, after those lessons, went on to swim with the birds along the Cape Town coast. “It’s a tribute to my son,” Zangewa says of the handbag. “My creativity just blossomed when he was born. He accelerated my being.”

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