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Editions Louis Vuitton : Interview with Patrick Rémy


“Synonymous with the art of travel since 1854, Louis Vuitton continues to add titles to its “Fashion Eye” collection. Each book evokes a city, region or country, seen through the eyes of a photographer. Guest editor of the collection, artistic director Patrick Rémy talks about his job and the “Fashion Eye” collection.


How did you become an editor?

I started as a journalist at Europe 1 radio station, where I stayed for 17 years. I ended up as the deputy editor-in-chief of the morning segment, the most important one, before leaving on August 31, 2001, 11 days before September 11, 2001. I had a lot of fun, but it was very stressful. At the same time, I collaborated with various publications like Vogue France, Le Journal des Arts, Beaux-Arts, Jalouse USA, Paradis, and more. I inaugurated the Planches Contact festival in Deauville as the artistic director in 2010, and I continued for five years. I was able to exhibit works by Paolo Roversi, Massimo Vittali, Sarah Moon, Lars Tunbjörk, David Armstrong, Kishin Shinoyama, Rinko Kawoshi, and Charles Fréger. Photography students from all over Europe came for residencies, and some of them started successful careers!


Can you tell us about the origins of your collaboration with Louis Vuitton editions?

About ten years ago, Julien Guerrier, the director of Louis Vuitton editions, invited me to lunch to discuss a limited edition of Seydou Keita, based on a book published by Steidl, which I had been involved with for over fifteen years in France. I also told him that I did image research for brands, mood boards. The publishing house, which is part of Louis Vuitton, was working on a book project about city bags. He then offered me the role of handling the fashion iconography for the book. Later on, we moved on to a book dedicated to Louis Vuitton and fashion photography.

Julien Guerrier then consulted me on an idea he had been considering for a long time: a book, a destination, and a fashion photographer. He introduced me to Frédéric Bortollotti, the artistic director of Lords of Design, with whom he was already working on the City Guide and the Travel Book drawing collection, which had at that time produced very few photography books. The Fashion Eye collection was born. We started with Kourtney Roy’s California, Jean-Loups Sieff’s Paris, and Wing Shya’s Shanghai. Other book editors also contribute to the collection, like Sylvie Lécallier, Michel Mallard, and Damien Poulain.


How do you choose the photographer and the location?

In the context of the Fashion Eye collection, my proposals are made based on my interactions with photographers and their agents. I submit a selection to Louis Vuitton editions, and they decide whether to publish a particular photographer or not. Occasionally, there are specific assignments if the house wants to emphasize a particular location.


You worked on the Fashion Eye New York by Saul Leiter. Was it challenging to produce?

The Saul Leiter Foundation sent me a large number of images. Unlike the principle of the collection, which aims to offer a fashion photographer’s perspective on a destination – without it being a fashion series per se – my selection here focused on fashion images taken in New York by Saul Leiter because, in his case, it’s easy to forget that he was a fashion photographer for a long time. I remembered that he had created incredible black and white photos, published in Apparences, a book by Martin Harrison (published in French by Le Chêne in 1991). The same series had been published in the legendary Six magazine, published by Comme des Garçons. Since it was impossible to find this among Leiter’s archives, I scanned and photographed my own copies of Six with the brand’s permission. This brought a certain modernity to the project!


Many books in the series provide a different, often unconventional, and stereotype-breaking view of the places they represent, like Jeff Burton’s Las Vegas, for example.

One of the issues with Las Vegas is the prohibition on photographing inside casinos. Jeff Burton proposed to follow three events: an MMA championship, the Cirque du Soleil show, and a drag show, to which he added photos taken from his hotel balconies. When you receive a photographer’s shots, you always get excited about what they might send. In his case, there were 250 images, and not a single one was a waste! And immediately, the thought that came to mind was full-page photos on very glossy paper.

In some projects, I spend a lot of time sorting through images. I can receive up to 2,000 pictures. At the same time, layout and rhythm ideas come to mind. Lords of Design then makes proposals that we refine and present to the photographers.


The Greece of François Halard or the upcoming United Kingdom of Martin Parr, these are vast territories.

It’s more of a spirit. I find that Martin Parr is at his best in Great Britain. But the collection is not meant to be exhaustive. Take Kishin Shinoyama’s Silk Road, for example, whom I have been a big fan of for a long time. I must have… I don’t know… around fifty of his books in my library, if not more. Fifteen or twenty years ago, I bought the eight volumes he dedicated to the Silk Road in the 1980s, from a guy in Brooklyn on eBay for $150 for all of them. From these eight volumes, I made a selection, from Nara to Istanbul, to create a 304-page book printed on Bible paper! I focused on places that have been destroyed since, like the Buddhas of Bamiyan and Palmyra, while maintaining Shinoyama’s obsession with markets. He’s very, very fond of food. He spent his time photographing dishes.

Nevertheless, there are still many places to explore and visions to reveal.


What’s interesting about this collection is the complete freedom. Fashion is not or rarely present. It’s just the perspective of a fashion photographer. For the book dedicated to Lagos, Daniel Obasi worked with local stylists, but that’s an exception – as with other volumes like those of Henry Clarke, Saul Leiter, or Guy Bourdin, for example. His book was an opportunity to convey a powerful message about LGBT rights in his country.

The collection also delves into the archives of some photographers: Saul Leiter’s New York mentioned earlier, Jean Moral’s Normandy, Henry Clarke’s India, or Guy Bourdin’s Miami (all edited by Sylvie Lécallier), as well as Slim Aarons’ French Riviera and Italian Rivieras.

In general, I prefer working with young photographers and engaging with them. I enjoy thinking about future books that could be part of the collection.


Upcoming books in the Fashion Eye collection

  • Omar Victor Diop, Deauville, edited by Laura Serani, Fashion Eye collection, Louis Vuitton editions, 2023
  • Frank Horvat, Hong Kong, edited by Sylvie Lécallier, Fashion Eye collection, Louis Vuitton editions, 202
  • Stefanie Moshammer, Vienna, edited by Patrick Remy, Fashion Eye collection, Louis Vuitton editions, 2023


Books from the Patrick Remy Studio released this autumn:

  • Mocafico, Numéro 7, Patrick Remy Studio, 2023
  • Donna Trope, Polaroids, Patrick Remy Studio, 2023
  • Sean Thomas, Yearbook vol. 2, 2023, Patrick Remy Studio, 2023


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