What do you get when you put Virgil Abloh — Off-White founder and artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s men’s wear collections — together with one of the pioneers of Japanese streetwear?
Enter Louis Vuitton’s Pre-Fall 2020 collection, Louis Vuitton squared. The elevator pitch goes like this: think London Mod-era dandy meets Tokyo. The capsule — which comprises of preppy ready-to-wears, leather goods, and accessories — is heavily inspired by designer Nigo’s fascination with British subcultures and his own Japanese heritage, all topped off with Abloh’s own slick design sensibilities.
Abloh and Nigo are longtime friends and contemporaries — but beyond that, Abloh also credits his appointment at Louis Vuitton to the designer.
“Me being at Louis Vuitton is directly attributable to work Nigo’s done in the past,” Abloh said in an interview with Vogue. He also called Nigo one of ‘the first real mentors’ that he had in fashion.
The collection marries the best of both designers’ individual styles together. You’ve got your fair share of sharply cut suits, as with any drop from Louis Vuitton — but here, they come draped with the brand’s Damier check that’s also rendered in denim and on double-faced duffle coats. There’s also the very handsome flight jacket emblazoned with a Mount Fuji graphic that any wardrobe will appreciate.
Louis Vuitton’s signature leather goods get a fresh look too. Chief on the list is the tote, which brings new meaning to the word dripping — check out the monogrammed melting-ice-cream look, the retro Louis Vuitton logo, and the very structural handle. Nigo’s signature animal charms also make a cameo on classic Louis Vuitton bags.
To call Nigo a streetwear tzar is hardly an understatement. He is, after all, the man who founded BAPE (which has been dubbed one of streetwear’s first true lifestyle brands), co-founded the Billionaire Boys Club brand with rapper Pharrell Williams, and now heads up Human Made, which puts a whimsical — and hype beast — spin on vintage pieces and Americana.
It makes the collaboration a rather sentimental one, since, as Abloh himself says, it’s something of a ‘full-circle moment’ — something that’s evident through the entirety of Louis Vuitton squared.
The Louis Vuitton LV² Collection will launch in two phases, June 26 and August 28. More details will be shared nearer to date.