To virtually present, the Louis Vuitton men’s 2021 Fall-Winter collection, Virgil Abloh, artistic director at LV, produced a multi-layered and symbolic video. Abloh took his inspiration from an essay entitled “Stranger in the Village” by James Baldwin about his experience living Swiss village. The “Ebonics/Snake Oil/The Black Box/ Mirror” collection questions the identifiers of archetypes, the perception of strangers, and the ill-ease at being a perceived outsider, like Baldwin living among white culture in Switzerland. By introducing service and salesmen, artists, travelers, and others amid a collection of logo emblazoned instant classics. The designer is questioning the presumptions we make about others based on their appearance, status, and style.
Abloh designs through the looking glass of social change. In acknowledging that identity often leads to marginalization the designer exaggerates the ‘norm’ and embellishes the basic, bland, and bold features that stigmatize an archetype. The collection is at its most spiritually beautiful with the mixing of cultural styles, and at its richest with the melding of luxe tech-fabrics that look forward without pause. Abloh has used his forum to be inclusive, to welcome diversity and personal expression, all the while introducing updates to the LV logo and freedom for the brand and all his devotees.