Through The Lens: Getting To Know Virgil Abloh's Louis Vuitton

 
Photo: Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images

Photo: Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images

What?
We take a deep look into the two collections so far presented by Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton as the newly appointed Menswear Director.

Written by Yasmine Adams.

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Virgil Abloh; the new powerhouse for 2019. He travels over 350,000 miles a year for work, constantly on the lookout for the latest styles and who is always keeping himself up to date with current fabrics and trends.

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Having accomplished an immeasurable amount at just 38 years of age, we have arrived into a new era of power, style, and breaking moulds in the French fashion industry. Distinguishing him as one of the first people of African descent to lead the brand’s Menswear line.

With a more than polished résumé which includes a myriad of talents, from having a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering, part-time DJ’ing, working closely with Kanye West himself as his Creative Director, a Masters in Architecture, founder of his critically acclaimed streetwear brand Off-White, and now Virgil Abloh will be one of the first men of colour to have been welcomed into a new role: Creative Director for Men’s Ready-to-Wear at Louis Vuitton.

 
 

Virgil’s Debut Louis Vuitton Spring 2019 Collection

With the recent departure of Kim Jones we were all excited to see who our next creative mastermind would be for the illustrious Parisian label. When the first 2019 debut show was released in Palais-Royale at Paris Fashion Week it was definitely an emotional time for all. With a rainbow coloured runway - starting with white and slowly transitioning to colour it was definitely a mesmerising appearance. Virgil created a very strong statement to commence his work with the Vuitton Maison and cementing his place in artisanal streetwear, which is something very fresh for a company founded way back in 1854.

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We love how grounded and refreshing Abloh is, with a beautifully diverse cast for the debut collection; majority of which were close friends, hiring a super cool low-key band BADBADNOTGOOD with Kanye West backing for the soundtrack and to conclude the show, a sentimental embrace with West which I’m sure brought a tear to some viewers (which you can see below).

Photos: Vogue

 
 
 
 
 
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MAN ON A MISSION

“THERE’S A PART OF ME THAT’S TRYING TO REPRESENT KIDS THAT DON’T NECESSARILY HAVE THE SAME OUTLET THAT I HAVE. I’M NOT LOOKING TOWARDS A NEW DEMOGRAPHIC. I’M LOOKING TOWARDS THE DEMOGRAPHIC I CAME FROM.”

– VIRGIL ABLOH

 
 

Our Favourite Looks From Louis Vuitton Spring 2019:

 
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This relaxed yet chic look screams fashion. With a node to the history of the Louis Vuitton trunks. The new Mini Soft Trunk with chain detailed features creates a new modern spin on the original travel luggage created in 1854.

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Utility is all the rage at the moment, and Virgil definitely does it justice. Leather harnesses, neon yellow laces with matching gloves and army style dress shirts with distinctive Virgil style pockets.

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Double denim is back, this boxy oversized piece is an outfit to die for. It can be worn on both men and women, dressing it up with black heeled boots and cuffing the bottoms of the relaxed hems. And for men, with a pair of casual sneakers and a coat over the top for an out-there winter look.

 
 
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Probably one of my favourite looks. We could definitely see A$AP Rocky rocking this fit.  A smart black tailored suit with a splash of colour making it fun, youthful and fashion forward. The new inspired Keepall (a Louis Vuitton luggage staple) with a bright orange chain to match the vest is obviously a first class business lounge vibe.

 
 
 
 

Inspiration Behind Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2019 Collection

The inspiration for this collection is both amusing and nostalgic for the company, as a few older makes and models have been given a face lift - with elevated staples such as the Millionaire sunglasses which were a popular shade back in the day. Virgil wanted to give a fresh spin on the pieces he previously purchased from Louis Vuitton before he was even affiliated with the company.

READ: Virgil Abloh Has Been Appointed Menswear Director Of Louis Vuitton


The collection also gives a node to his brand Off-White; with ‘out there’ innovative designs such as detachable pockets, army style pants, utility belts and jackets, candid prints, and sleek leather harnesses for body wear. He says “The pre-collection was a safe haven to test out ideas, to start defining that palette.” - Virgil Abloh

 
 
 
 
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A NEW GENERATION

“FROM MY PERSPECTIVE, I’M TRYING TO STAND FOR A GENERATION. YOU KNOW EACH GENERATION HAS DESIGNERS WHO GO ALONG WITH IT.”

– VIRGIL ABLOH

 
 
 

Though the main inspiration behind the collection derives from the 1939 book The Wizard of Oz. Which I feel he uses as a sort of reflective muse - as Dorothy's story coincides with his in some way. Bringing friends, writers, musicians, architects, all walks of life that have been involved in his pathway to success, coming together and being apart of his accomplishments. Like that of Dorothy; walking her path and befriending all kinds of people with no discrimination and coming together as one to help Dorothy return home again. Home now being that of Louis Vuitton.

Photos: HYPEBEAST

 
 
 
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Personal Opinion: Streetwear Is Art

The fabrics themselves are almost romantic in a way, floral designs with a sleeping Dorothy elegantly placed on a windbreaker, oversized comfortable sweatshirts and silhouettes which can be easily worn on both men and women. Virgil has made baggy streetwear cool and chic again coming from a luxury standpoint. This collection really has shown the world what kind of diversity he has as a designer, the silhouettes are street yet tailored for a casual and refined look which I love. We’ve got it all, from a full white pantsuit to sheer mesh t-shirts to see through bright red Keepall’s.

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There was a lot of attention to detail in this collection, everything was carefully placed and every piece told a story. What I love most about this collection is that it looks great not only on men but women as well. From the well tapered jeans to the oversized hoodies it becomes a playground for anyone vying for these pieces.

Photo: Barneys New York

 
 
 
 
 
 

The Next Chapter: Louis Vuitton Fall 2019 Collection

With the Fall 2019 Menswear having just been released we were surprised to see a new recurring theme throughout the collection. We saw a lot of items carrying a Michael Jackson motif. The runway was made to look like a New York grungy sidewalk; similar to that of Jackson’s music video “Billie Jean”. Complete with a live band (of course) featuring rappers such as Offset, Kid Cudi, Gunna and Skepta.

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The opening palette was one colour - grey, similar to the all white garments he opened with in his first show. We saw a lot of plush monogram jackets, flags representing different countries in grey scale as skirts; later transitioning to colour in jackets as the show continues. The purple military suits, crystal encrusted gloves and graphic t-shirts with Jackson’s most iconic pose printed across the front. It felt like such a tribute to one of the most influential music artists and fashion icons to ever exist.

 
 
 
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THE INFLUENCE OF MICHAEL JACKSON

“NOT TO MAKE COSTUME, BUT TO TAKE HIM AS BACKDROP, TO MAKE A POINT ABOUT THE HUMANITY IN HIS VISION. I WANTED HUMANITY IN THE FOREFRONT.”

– VIRGIL ABLOH

 
 
 
 

We also see the first full LV monogram jacket to ever be fabricated. Virgil keeps surprising us with his brilliantly creative mind - he is constantly looking for things nobody has ever done before, he even created hi-top sneakers with live screens on the front. The two shows he has released are similar in the way that they both have a very prominent street vibe but if you look closer; each piece and every show has a deeper meaning and conclusion.

For example - a simple houndstooth suit, impeccable tailoring and cuts - but if you look closer the houndstooth is made up out of hundreds of detailed miniaturised maps of Africa. The whole line screams luxury and impactful silhouettes from silks, furs, crystals with a lot of history intertwined in the clothing. We are living in the generation of one of the most iconic and creative visionaries in high fashion.

Photos: Vogue

 
 
 
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What The Future Holds For Virgil’s Louis Vuitton

When a fashion powerhouse like Louis Vuitton opens its doors to someone like Virgil,  who doesn’t have your typical background, it is such an incredible conquest to have accomplished. Taking on this new role as Men's Ready-to-Wear Creative Director; which is obviously not for those of the faint-heart, you have to hand it to him, he has done an impeccable job.

This new era of fashion - cultivating all things youthful, impactful, detailing and inspiring has established a new standard in luxury clothing. It is the next step in progression for Vuitton and Virgil as a designer and image maker.

Minorities and influence played a large part in this infamous debut. It has paved a way to form a more diverse casting, a fresh change in the runway scene and the crowd itself. It has become page-turning for the industry and hopefully furthering the democratisation of the fashion corporation. We can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next Virgil.

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Author: Yasmine Adams
Photos: Sourced

 
 

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