Images by Robyn Dutra
Virgil Abloh is everything. And more. For the highly anticipated debut of his Spring/Summer 2019 menswear collection for Louis Vuitton, the designer has transformed the neo-gothic Chrome Hearts shop in the West Village into a high-fashion-meets-streetwise altar of beyond cool. Indeed, entering the cavernous second-floor showroom where leather, leopard and iron crosses usually rule, one is immediately struck by how Abloh has re-concepted the space to reflect his own singular aesthetic.
It’s fresh, it’s fun, and it is very, very fabulous.
He’s arguably ushered in a new vernacular for men’s fashion, in eye-popping colors and jaw-dropping cuts. Sneakerheads can also rejoice, he’s even issued his own sleek, monochrome high-tops. Judging by the enthusiastic crowd of well and wildly shod individuals, Abloh has ensured his place beside the likes of Kim Jones and Marc Jacobs (and in our opinion, even superseded those designers’ respective work for Vuitton).
We were only too happy to worship Abloh’s bright selection of LV-embossed duffle bags and belts, psychedelia-inspired knits and scarves, and even a silver foil cape that wouldn’t be out of place on P-Funk’s George Clinton. Our faves? The ghostly white and deepest black versions of traditional luggage pieces, now with neon-hued plastic chain accents, only serving to reaffirm the 38-year old American designer’s trendsetting genius, which he has until now cultivated via his hugely successful Off-White label. In this debut, he’s proven you can reinvent the classics.
Audacity is part of Vuitton’s story, the brand now known for merging the up-and-coming with the tried and true. And Abloh doesn’t disappoint. His monogram mashups in this first men’s collection blend heritage and craftsmanship with a certain cultural currency to buzzworthy effect. Given the reception at the opening and giant LV shopping bags on almost every guest’s arm, you may want to get there sooner than later – before it’s all gone, and you have to wait for his drop at retail. (Quelle horreur!) Alas, this short-term residency only runs from January 10 through the 17th.