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On February 14 – 16, 2019, something larger-than-life popped up in the heart of West Hollywood. During the week of the inaugural edition of the Frieze LA art fair, RIMOWA and artist Alex Israel joined forces to create the first-ever collection of color-graded suitcases based on the iconic aluminum RIMOWA Original.
A native of the City of Angels, Israel’s work explores popular media, Hollywood, and the cult of celebrity, while positing LA as central to an understanding of American culture and the American dream. For the RIMOWA x Alex Israel collaboration, Israel has reimagined the suitcases in colors based on the LA-sunset, drawing directly from the palettes of his “Sky Backdrop” and “Untitled (Flat)” paintings, while using innovative new printing techniques to transfer his signature colors onto aluminum.
“I imagined these suitcases by answering a simple question: ‘What’s the suitcase I’d want to look at and wheel through LAX?’ And the answer, for me, so often comes back to the sky over Los Angeles – it’s just my favorite thing to look at.” said Alex Israel.
“We’re incredibly proud to team up with Alex Israel, one of the world’s most exciting artists, to launch an innovative experience during the week of the inaugural edition of Frieze art fair in LA,” said Alexandre Arnault, CEO of RIMOWA. “As strong admirers of his work, we were thrilled to develop a collaboration, which is probably the best engineered suitcase we have ever built. This is unique for both Alex and RIMOWA and celebrates the vibrant aesthetics and interesting personality of Los Angeles, which is year after year at the center of culture in the US”.
In celebration of this collaboration, the creative duo tapped into LA for inspiration and reach on a large scale. The unconventional product launch event was be hard to miss – RIMOWA and Alex Israel burst onto the LA scene with a giant 20- foot tall RIMOWA suitcase.
Art world visitors and resident Angelenos alike were invited to climb inside the oversized luggage to discover an exclusive preview of the RIMOWA x Alex Israel collection, set to launch for Summer 2019. On view, two versions of the signature RIMOWA x Alex Israel luggage in two distinct color gradient palettes, with one-of-a-kind design features such as vibrant color-matching wheels, custom luggage lining and a set of luggage tags featuring a tag of Israel’s multi-colored profile. Each limited-edition case also comes complete with a set of stickers exclusive to this edition, featuring graphic illustrations of iconic LA landmarks and Israel’s artworks.