Photographer Tyler Shields Sets Louis Vuitton Trunk on Fire, Breaking Our Hearts


The trunk, aflame. (Photo: Tyler Shields)

Louis Vuitton is on fire. No, really.

Our favorite shock photographer, Tyler Shields, is at it again, this time setting fire to a Louis Vuitton trunk in the name of art.

Remember when Clint Eastwood’s daughter Francesca took a chainsaw to a $100,000 Birkin bag and lit it on fire for a project for Shields, her ex-boyfriend, and received death threats? Those threats clearly have not stopped Shields, who likes to ruin fancy things for art.

The final shot for Shields’s Provocateur book involved setting fire to an LV trunk valued at $15,000. We know. It’s blasphemy.

“Today we’re setting a Louis Vuitton trunk on fire. That’s what’s happening,” Shields said nonchalantly in a video.


In the studio. (Photo: Tyler Shields)

Like anyone would, he wanted to get some more use out of the trunk before destroying it. But instead of packing it for a high-end vacation, the artist first cut a hole in the top of the trunk and packed Lydia Hearst into it, upside down, legs sticking up, in the middle of the desert during a 75-mph windstorm.

“Every woman I know wants one of these trunks, and so today we’re gonna set it on fire,” Shields said before breaking hearts everywhere. As soon as the fire touched the suitcase, it burst into flames — and we started blowing at the computer screen.

We have to admit, though, the photo turned out pretty cool. But we’d rather have the bag.


Admiring his handiwork. (Photo: Tyler Shields)

The photographer has been harshly criticized for ruining works of art like a Rolls Royce and a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes, but in his mind, he’s not destroying them. “I wanted to see what it was actually made of,” Shields said of why he set the Birkin bag on fire. “It’s durable. It’s amazing. I didn’t do it because I hated it. I did it because it was such an amazing piece. I didn’t destroy it because I was like, ‘Oh this thing is a piece of shit.’ I did it because I liked it. I wanted to immortalize it.”

“I have nothing against Christian Louboutin. I love Christian Louboutin. I have a pair of Christian Louboutin’s men’s shoes that I wear,” Shields said. “The reason why I did it was because I wanted to see what was inside them. It took us six saw blades to cut through one pair of shoes. So the money that you pay for those is obviously worth it. That bag is still standing, I still have it. It has been chain sawed. It has been set on fire, and it is still standing upright.”

OK, now we feel better about our splurges.

Provocateur comes out on Dec. 13.

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