20 : 01 : 23 : Weekly Debrief

need to know
product design
health & wellness
category - fashion
category - female futures
sector - food & drink
type - need to know
Need To Know
category - design
category - mobility
category - sustainability
sector - health & wellness
sector - youth

This week: Yayoi Kusama creates awe-inspiring infinity with Louis Vuitton, a fragrance collaboration celebrating the art of happiness, SKYN sidesteps censorship, The Orient Express set to sail and young people pushing the boundaries on wellness. 



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20 January 2023

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: The art of happiness by Guerlain in collaboration with Maison Matisse, France


Louis Vuitton and Yayoi Kusama pop-up store, Japan

1. Yayoi Kusama’s total takeover of Louis Vuitton

Global – Louis Vuitton has orchestrated a retail coup for its second partnership with world-famous artist Yayoi Kusama. Unmatched in scale and scope, Creating Infinity is sparking conversations online and turning heads in many cities.

Known for her Infinity Rooms and signature polka-dotted pumpkins, this supersized activation has placed the 93-year-old Japanese artist at the top of many social media threads – and buildings. Stretching the limits of brand collaboration, the campaign takes OOH marketing to the next level, from a giant sculpture of the artist on the façade of the brand’s flagship Champs-Élysées store to an animated robot painting a shop window in New York, countless landmarks have been covered with Kusama’s face or brush strokes. Alongside the supersized store merchandising efforts and a celebrity-backed social campaign, Louis Vuitton launched over 400 products revisited by the artist.

While Creating infinity is undoubtedly viral and is sure to make luxury players rethink how they collaborate with artists, some art critics and fashion experts call it gimmicky, or express unease about the ubiquitous representations of the expressionless face of Kusama.

2. Guerlain collaborates with Matisse to celebrate the art of happiness

France – Beauty house Guerlain has collaborated with design house Maison Matisse on a limited-edition collection inspired by the works of Henri Matisse, in celebration of the art of happiness.

Guerlain has long looked to art when creating its fragrances. Since 2005 its Exceptional Creations series has commissioned artists to design limited editions of their bottles. L’Art & La Matiére is its collection of perfumes inspired by the emotions sparked by works of art.

Maison Matisse, founded by Henri Matisse’s great-grandson to create objects in celebration of the legendary painter’s works, was invited to re-imagine Guerlain’s infamous Bee Bottle, which celebrates its 170th anniversary in 2023. Only 14 of the uniquely hand-painted, signed and numbered bottles based on Matisse’s 1939 painting La Musique will be available. Matisse’s Les Mille et Une Nuits was the inspiration for new fragrance Jasmin Bonheur, a jasmine scent with notes of orange, apricot and iris, 1,000 of which will be available to buy. A limited edition of 500 pieces of a Figure Azure scented candle rounds off the collaboration.

The art of happiness by Guerlain in collaboration with Maison Matisse, France
Explore Uncensored Pleasures by SKYN, US

3. How SKYN creatively sidestepped censorship in its ad campaign

US ­– Sexual wellness brand SKYN has playfully eluded censorship in its latest campaign, which prompts people to explore pleasure and intimacy.

Created by the Sid Lee Paris agency, Explore Uncensored Pleasures is a series of videos shot in a lo-fi amateur style, staging couples sharing intimate moments. To steer clear of pornographic associations and to arouse curiosity, the graphic contents have been concealed with the help of blurred rectangles and hints about the product used by the couple.

This allows the brand to bypass censorship and intrigue the viewer, and showcases its products – condoms, lubes and sex toys – ‘in action’, where it usually wouldn’t be possible. ‘We wanted to leverage censorship into an opportunity to talk about intimacy and turn what might previously have stopped conversations taking place into something that drives curiosity,’ shared creative directors Céline and Clément Mornet-Landa.

SKYN’s depiction of unfiltered and multi-faceted sexuality aligns with our Unrefined Intimacy design direction, where we explore raw, inclusive and confrontational new narratives around sex and pleasure.

Orient Express Silenseas by Accor in partnership with Chantiers de l’Atlantique, France

4. The Orient Express will head out to sea in 2026

Global – The Orient Express is entering uncharted waters. The legendary train service has announced plans to build the world’s largest sailing ship and expand its catalogue of luxurious journeys to luxurious cruises.

Ideated back in 2018, this new chapter of maritime travel for The Orient Express started with a partnership with French hospitality group Accor and shipbuilding company Chantiers de l’Atlantique. Together they are developing the Orient Express Silenseas, a 220-metre-long sailing yacht inspired by the Golden Age of the French Riviera.

The cruise ship was conceived as a celebration of the art of travel and rooted in the history of the Orient Express, prompting guests to idle and dream while enjoying the essence of luxury and hospitality. Among the Silenseas’ many features are 54 suites, two swimming pools, a speakeasy bar and a spa area.

While culturally the ship is reminiscent of the age of exploration and mythical cruises, the technology behind the master yacht is anything but ancient. Powered by a hybrid propulsion formula, the Orient Express Silenseas will be part of the next generation of cruises, which meld hyper-luxurious crafts with tech-enabled sustainability features.

The Feel Good Marketplace by Woo, UK

5. Stat: Young people urge brands to do more than pay lip service on wellness

UK – Young people are adamant when it comes to wellbeing. Despite their very recent coming of age, Gen Z are already heavily influencing how we approach wellness as a society, and they want brands to level with them.

From Quiet Quitting to Soft Life, in 2022 several youth-led wellness trends emerged, promoting slower and less stressful lifestyles. Marketing firm One Twelve Agency has examined these mindset shifts in its 2023 Trend Report, and concluded that the conventional approach to wellness feels passé and toxic to nearly seven in 10 members of Generation Z.

According to research, all demographic groups now concede that wellness is as much about physical as it is about mental health, but younger consumers put greater emphasis on emotions and commitment to happiness. Gen Z want brands to adopt a discourse aligned with their holistic wellness ideas – 76% believe that advertising has a lot of power to shape how people perceive each other, and that brands should use their platforms to dismantle toxic and unattainable ideals. Gen Z’s feel-good take on wellness culture is already reshaping how the media approaches the topic and is setting the scene for a new wave of wellbeing-boosting digital services.

To future-proof your world, visit The Future Laboratory's forecasting platform LS:N Global for daily news, opinions, trends, sector specific insights, and strategic toolkits.


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