Having Virgil Abloh as the artistic director of menswear at Louis Vuitton is a great move and a brilliant effort at brand building for this legendary fashion house. The designer is embracing diversity and inclusion, which many status brands have ignored while being contrary to their followers, be they aspirants or collectors. Abloh, once hand-picked by Kayne West to be his creative director went on to create his on label, Off-White, a historical and significant endeavor in the fashion world. The trappings of luxury are no longer exquisite fabrications and buttoned-up suits, it is in the exclusivity of being in the know and having the rarefied access to limited edition T-Shirts and designer flights of folly. With Virgil Abloh designs at Off-White the hype was never bigger then the work, the buzz, loud and proud, never over took form, function and flair. In choosing Abloh for Louis Vuitton the brand has embraced its loyal customer base and ignited the enthusiasm of line-standing consumers with their fingers on the Instagram’s LOVE icon.
The designer announced his presence, and craft, with a cleansing start to the runway show. Models in whites and off-white paraded finely tailored variations on silhouette balance and study. Wide trousers, hoodies, cargo pants and T-Shirts, Abloh’s familiar vocabulary and truly the way men dress today, were the underpinnings to showcasing creative streetwise outerwear and high-energy accessory. The low-tech craft of tie dying elevates this collection with its declaration of personal style and individual expression. From harnesses to bags and shoes, Abloh’s LV accessories will be sell-outs – and the man-clutch will soon be mainstream. Brilliant reds, de-constructed jacket, exquisite soft leather blouson and shorts, natural cashmere double-breasted topcoats all make appearances. When the designer brings prints into the collection, they are floral. A print of dreaming Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz is inserted in a field of poppies on an anorak. To call the collection street-inspired is a disservice. The collection is for the new generation of kids, of all ages, that have the means and the luxury to eschew the three-piece suit everyday and create greatness. Louis Vuitton.