Miami Art and Design Week 2023: the best fashion moments

The best crossover fashion moments at Miami Art and Design Week 2023, from Frank Gehry’s sculptural bag collection for Louis Vuitton to Fendi’s collaboration with cult collective Bless

Louis Vuitton Frank Gehry handbag collection at Miami Art and Design Week 2023
One of architect Frank Gehry’s sculptural handbag designs for Louis Vuitton, revealed at Art Basel Miami Beach
(Image credit: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton)

Beginning this past week in the beachside locale synonymous with glamour and style, the blockbuster Miami Art and Design Week – which encompasses Art Basel Miami Beach 2023 and Design Miami 2023, as well as a slew of other happenings across the city – once again attracted an eclectic array of guests seeking out the next big thing (or, indeed, the next big purchase). 

As ever, alongside art and design, a host of other disciplines was represented – among them food, entertainment, hospitality, beauty, architecture and fashion, the last an industry whose presence has been growing in recent years. And it’s not simply in the designer-heavy get-ups worn by attendees, but also in an array of events, launches and collaborations held by international fashion houses and brands. 

The 2023 edition was not an exception. Here, we round up the best crossover moments at Miami Art and Design Week 2023 – including a special handbag collection designed by Frank Gehry for Louis Vuitton. 

Best fashion moments of Miami Art and Design Week 2023


Fendi unites with cult design duo Bless on ‘Backfrontal’ installation

Bless Fendi Design Miami 2023

(Image credit: Alecio Ferrari)

When secretive design duo Bless – comprising Desiree Heiss and Ines Kaag, who create provocative objects across disciplines – were initially approached by Fendi to work on an installation for Design Miami, they were sceptical. ‘We were not familiar with Fendi, apart from our on-the-surface understanding of a post-Karl Lagerfeld era,’ Heiss tells Dal Chodha in the December issue of Wallpaper*. ‘We couldn’t see why we were being approached, but then we didn’t expect to feel the connections we did upon entering the Fendi world.’ 

The resulting collaboration – revealed in Miami this week and led by Simon Parris of Kim Jones Studio – is titled ‘Backfrontal’, comprising four double-sided screens crafted by Fendi Casa, set alongside a variety of other objects dreamt up by Bless. These include a shearling intarsia blanket, broom handles and detergent bottles adorned with pieces of fur, as well as a version of Fendi’s Peekaboo bag which playfully evokes a shipping label-stamped parcel. ‘Design – with considerations on functionality, durability and endurance – is the closest form of art to what I do,’ says Silvia Venturini Fendi, who leads the house’s menswear and accessories collection. ‘It’s increasingly important to engage in conversation with talents who can contribute to the evolution of the Fendi aesthetics beyond commercial boundaries.’ 

Read more here.

Frank Gehry creates a sculptural set of bags for Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton Frank Gehry

A Frank Gehry-designed Louis Vuitton handbag

(Image credit: Photography by Philippe Lacombe)

Frank Gehry has had a longstanding relationship with Louis Vuitton; in 2014, he designed the sweeping Fondation Louis Vuitton gallery in Paris, with its distinctive transparent glass ‘sails’, while in 2019, he designed the house’s equally dramatic Louis Vuitton Maison store in Seoul, South Korea. Now, on the occasion of Art Basel Miami Beach 2023, the architect has revealed a collection of handbags for Louis Vuitton, each capturing his distinct postmodern design philosophy, complete with unexpected angles and sculptural silhouettes. Due to launch in summer 2024 and separated into four themes – Architecture and Form, Material Exploration, Animals, and Twisted Box, the last inspired by a previous creation for the house’s ‘Celebrating Monogram’ series – the unique designs span a curved top-handle bag in monogram leather, a futuristic style in patchworked transparent plastic, and an array of bags adorned with fish and crocodiles. 

Japanese wrestling league Sukeban’s surprising Miami Debut 

Sukeban in Miami

A Sukeban league wrestler, in costume by Olympia Le Tan

(Image credit: Jiro Konami)

An unexpected crossover of fashion, design and art met at what surprisingly became the week’s most anticipated event: an American outing for Sukeban, the Japanese women’s professional wrestling league, which held a championship fight in the city on Wednesday evening (6 December 2023). Following a sell-out fight in New York earlier this year, Sukeban – named after girl gangs of the 1960s and 1970s – presented a Miami edition including collaborations with fashion designer Olympia Le Tan on the colourful costumes (she said she drew inspiration from anime heroines), make-up artist Isamaya Ffrench (who has worked with numerous fashion brands including Vivienne Westwood, Thom Browne and Junya Watanabe), who created custom looks for each wrestler, as well as Marc Newson, who created the winner’s belt, featuring an enamel plate adorned with illustrations by Ayako Ishiguro. Attended by an array of people in town for the art and design weeks, the Sukeban League might well become the industry’s latest obsession

Read more here.

Birkenstock 1774 reveals art deco-inspired collaboration with Concepts

Birkenstock Concepts sandals

Birkenstock 1774’s latest collaboration with Concepts, which was celebrated in Miami earlier this week

(Image credit: Courtesy of Birkenstock)

Massachusetts-born American brand Concepts has been collaborating with Birkenstock for ten years, a milestone celebrated this year as part of Miami Art and Design Week. This time, the pair collaborated on a rainbow-hued take on Birkenstock’s cult Arizona two-strap sandal. The colourful collection comprises four shades – pink, mauve, lime green and faded orange – which are used across a cowhide version of the signature sandal. The bold palette was said to be inspired by Miami’s art deco heritage, an architectural style on view throughout the beachside city, while the collection was celebrated with a special event at the newly opened Birkenstock store in Miami’s Design District (where the collection can be purchased, alongside on 1774.com and cncpts.com).

‘Concepts has a rich history in Miami product storytelling. We found that art, design, and fashion share parallels with the times of art deco,’ says Concepts CEO Tarek Hassan. ‘We are thrilled to partner with Birkenstock on a capsule around this week’s moment in Miami.’

Fashion Features Editor

Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*. Having previously held roles at 10, 10 Men and AnOther magazines, he joined the team in 2022. His work has a particular focus on the moments where fashion and style intersect with other creative disciplines – among them art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and profiling the industry’s leading figures and brands.