Arguably one of photography’s most important portraitists, Annie Leibovitz, was inducted into the Académie des Beaux-Arts on March 20th, 2024, filling the seat previously held by I.M. Pei, the American architect of the glass pyramid of Carrousel du Louvre.  The Académie des Beaux-Arts is one of five academies within the Institut de France. It recognizes and honours excellence in thought, science, literature, music and art, dating back to its founding by the National Convention in 1795.

To mark the importance of this event, Louis Vuitton’s Creative Director for Women’s Collections, Nicolas Ghesquière, created a special outfit for Leibovitz to wear during the ceremony. In creating the outfit, Ghesquière utilized traditional academic design codes used in his work for the Women’s Spring Summer 2017 collection, inspired by shapes and silhouettes from 18th-century men’s wardrobes. Made by hand, the outfit features gold-coloured embroidery in the shape of olive leaves on the high collar, the front, and the sleeves of a wool jacket cut at the waist, shorter at the front and lengthened at the back in a tailcoat. The custom-made outfit comprises a long jacket, cigarette pants and a white poplin shirt with a hand-pleated pussy-bow collar.

“It is a true honor to create the academic outfit of Annie Leibovitz, a talented, free, and visionary artist, and to pay homage to her photographic work,” said Ghesquière. In 1801, painter Jean Louis David initially designed the coat for an Académicien in black wool.

Watch Louis Vuitton’s video documenting the process below.