Every Fashion Tycoon Has One
It seems that being a museum owner is in style, and given the architectural grandiosity and scale of the museums we’re about to discuss, this trend doesn’t seem to be passing soon! From Fondazione Prada in Milan to Musée Yves Saint Laurent in Marrakech, there are plenty of museums designed for lovers of both art and fashion. Bernard Arnault, François Pinault and Miuccia Prada, are among the fashion tycoons that have inaugurated some of the most spectacular museums where contemporary art meets fashion.
The ties between art and fashion have become stronger than ever before. What started out as a simple flirtation has turned into a serious love affair that has become a fully-fledged commercial mission, one where visitors stand in line for hours on end just to enter the museum. Keen to skip the stuffy museums and head straight to the contemporary hotspots? Then this one’s for you: Art Fix has assembled a list of the world’s hottest must-see museums owned by fashion moguls. Still not convinced? These cultural gems happen to be located in some of the most beautiful cities in the world!
- Largo Isarco 2, Milan
- Open from Thursday to Sunday, from 10:00 – 19:00
Milan might be world-famous for its fashion scene, but fashion is just a small piece of what this gorgeous city has to offer. Aside from its striking architecture and remarkable Italian Renaissance art, Milan is also a hub for world-class contemporary art.
Since its opening in 2015, Fondazione Prada has become one of Italy’s most prominent showcases of contemporary art. It features Miuccia Prada’s private collection, which includes works by Jeff Koons, Walter De Maria, Damien Hirst, John Baldessari, and the famous upside down mushrooms by Carsten Höller!
The complex, located in Milan’s industrial zone, is almost as grand as the collection inside it. With Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas by her side, Prada transformed a 1910 distillery compound into 12,000 square meters of pure magic: a modern space dedicated to foster contemporary art and culture.
TIP: Don’t miss Bar Luce! Located at the entrance building of Fondazione Prada and designed by the American film director Wes Anderson.
FONDATION LOUIS VUITTON
- 8, Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi Bois de Boulogne, Paris
- Open daily from 10:00-20:00. Closed on Tuesdays
Blurring the lines between art and fashion is nothing new for Louis Vuitton, and that’s what makes the Louis Vuitton Fondation so magical. You may know that the house has a long history of collaborating with artists that use LV’s signature bags as a canvas to create unique versions of wearable art (and if you didn’t, check out our eighth episode). But its commitment to the art world took a leap in 2006, with the creation of the Fondation Louis Vuitton. Designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, the building itself is a masterpiece. After decades in the making, Gehry turned a sketch on paper into an architectural treasure that has become yet another iconic landmark in Paris.
This glass ship-like structure is located in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. It has eleven gallery spaces filled with international contemporary art; comprising several works by recognized artists, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Maurizio Cattelan, Olafur Eliasson, Alberto Giacometti, Takashi Murakami, and many more. So grab your café au lait and croissant to go, and be sure to arrive early to have enough time to go through the entire collection.
You might recognize the Pinault family name from our fourth episode: Going Once, Going Twice. Let us refresh your memory; François Pinault does not only own iconic auction house Christie’s, but he’s also the founder and owner of Kering luxury group, which includes several fashion houses like Alexander McQueen, Gucci and Saint Laurent. On top of that, François and his family own one of the world’s largest contemporary art collections with works by Picasso, Mondrian, Hirst, Fischer and Koons.
It isn’t easy to store more than 3,000 masterpieces of contemporary art, so Pinault decided that an Italian palace would perhaps have enough storage space. Giving his collection the royal treatment, he bought the Palazzo Grassi in Venice to house some of his artworks. Since then, he has opened another exhibition space in the Italian city, and is transforming Bourse de Commerce in Paris into a third museum to display his collection.
- San Samuele 3231, Venice
- Open every day from 10:00 -19:00, last entry at 18:00. Closed on Tuesday
Palazzo Grassi was built by architect Giorgio Massari between 1748 and 1772, and renovated by the self-taught Japanese architect Tadao Ando in 2005. The museum opened its doors to the public in spring 2006, with the exhibition “Where Are We Going?”, which presented part of Pinault’s mesmerizing collection of contemporary and modern art. It included 200 works by 49 artists and highlighted some of the most influential art movements of the past six decades.
Each year, the Palazzo Grassi accommodates several temporary exhibitions, presenting works from Pinault’s Collection, as well as pieces that have been loaned from international museums and institutions. Make sure to check online which exhibitions are on before you go, as they’re constantly changing.
PUNTA DELLA DOGANA
- Dorsoduro 2, Venice
- Open every day from 10:00 -19:00, last entry at 18:00. Closed on Tuesdays
Four years later, Pinault opened a second space in Venice to display his collection, Punta della Dogana. Built by architect Giuiseppe Benoni, this triangular building overlooking the Grand Canal, served as a customs house until the 1980s.
After twenty years of abandonment, The Pinault Collection was awarded a tender by the City of Venice to transform the building into a contemporary art space. And once again, Pinault commissioned architect Tadao Ando to do the restorations. Punta della Dogana reopened to the public in 2009, and since then has been presenting Pinault’s collection through temporary exhibitions.
BOURSE DE COMMERCE
- 2 Rue de Viarmes, Paris
- Opening 23 January 2021
In 2021 the new museum of the Pinault Collection will be inaugurated inside Paris’s former stock exchange, Bourse de Commerce. While the building itself is property of the City of Paris, it has been leased to Pinault for a period of fifty years. And guess who’s renovating it? Yes, you guessed it right – Pinault’s go-to architect, Tadao Ando. The museum will present Pinault’s blue-chip art collection, as well as a number of star loans, through temporary exhibitions.
Pinault’s museum in Paris means he will be going face à face once again with long-term rival Bernard Arnault, and we can’t wait to see Arnault’s reaction. Stay tuned Fixers!
YVES SAINT LAURENT MUSEUM
- Rue Yves Saint Laurent, Marrakech
- Open from Wednesday to Sunday, from 9:00 – 18:00, last admission at 17:30
Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé had a shared love for collecting extraordinary art objects, and were considered two of France’s most passionate collectors. Their four homes were filled with priceless objets d’art, paintings and sculptures that were carefully selected by the couple throughout the years. Shortly after Saint Laurent’s death, Bergé began disposing of parts of their magnificent collection. When Bergé passed away in 2018, a big final auction of the couple’s collection was held at Sotheby’s, with works by Bernard Buff and Pablo Picasso.
Acquired by Yves and Pierre in the 1980s, Musée Yves Saint Laurent in Morocco includes a permanent exhibition devoted to the creative masterpieces of Saint Laurent, which comprises thousands of items of clothing, sketches and objects. But that’s not all… Given the late designer’s fascination for the arts, the space also hosts temporary exhibitions, a research library, and an auditorium. The spectacular terracotta building was designed by the French firm Studio KO, founded by architects Olivier Marty and Karl Fournier.
Why Morocco you may be wondering? The couple spent much of their time at Jardin Majorelle, their Morroccan home, which has now become one of the most visited tourist sites in the country. “Marrakech taught me color,” said Saint Laurent, “before Marrakech, everything was black”.