‘Tis the season of the mega-collaboration.
Just hours after Dior revealed it was teaming up with Travis Scott on its spring 2022 males’s assortment, Louis Vuitton dropped one other bombshell throughout Paris Fashion Week: The French luxurious model has partnered with Nike on new variations of its iconic Air Force 1 sneakers.
The footwear, which are available 21 colorways, have been unveiled on Thursday as a part of Virgil Abloh’s males’s assortment for Vuitton, however further particulars have been scarce. Asked whether or not they can be made out there on the market, the home merely mentioned: “Stay tuned for more details.”
The launch marks a full-circle second in hip-hop tradition. Abloh, who has a extremely profitable collaboration with Nike by his Off-White label, was impressed by the quilt of the 1988 album “It Takes Two” by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock. It exhibits E-Z Rock sporting a Nike Air Force 1 basketball coach altered with a swoosh adorned within the Louis Vuitton monogram.
“The cover embodied the hip-hop community’s early practice of hacking together high fashion and sportswear, sidelining diverging brands with equal reverence. A cultural symbol in its own right, today the Nike Air Force 1 serves as an objet d’art emblematic of self-generated subcultural provenance,” Vuitton mentioned in its assortment notes.
Or as Outfitgrid founder Dennis Todisco commented on Instagram: “When the fake becomes real.”
For Abloh, the U.S.-born son of Ghanaian immigrants, it’s yet one more chapter in a story that has seen him rise from outsider to kingmaker. He acknowledged as a lot in a brief speech to his staff, gathered in a cinema in Paris for the premiere of his assortment movie, titled “Amen Break” after a well-known drum pattern.
“Fashion can make you feel like things are impossible. We’re a part of a team that can make people feel a specific way. And through this body of work that we’re about to see on the screen, we deconstruct and dissolve and melt away this idea that fashion is elitist, or fashion is for only a select few,” he mentioned.
Indeed, Abloh has blown open the gates of luxurious to a complete new class of participant, from the youngsters who line up for his sneaker drops to the expertise that takes half in his exhibits.
Musicians GZA, Goldie, Saul Williams, Lupe Fiasco and Shabaka Hutchings seem within the movie alongside “Les Misérables” actor Issa Perica, in a storyline impressed by the basic Japanese kung fu movie “Lone Wolf and Cub.” Chess is a sub-plot, impressed by the quilt of GZA’s seminal album “Liquid Swords,” in addition to Vuitton’s signature Damier motif.
In trend phrases, the theme translated right into a plethora of test motifs, on objects starting from luxed-up monitor fits to tailor-made swimsuit jackets paired with floor-length skirts, in a nod to conventional clothes starting from kilts to kendo uniforms. Checkered bodysuits served as an underpinning for a fuchsia swimsuit, a silver foil jacket and pants, and sober black outfits impressed by martial arts garb.
The central concept was a confrontation between tailoring and trackpants, which materialized right into a human chess recreation — although there was finally no winner. “I’m not choosing between one or the other. My signature is both,” Abloh mentioned, noting that the brand of the movie comprises a yin-yang emblem. “That symbol fits perfectly in my canon.”
Hence the leap between his new-gen fits — suppose quick, belted jacket and pooling pants — and the raver components within the assortment, together with airbrushed monogram-embossed leather-based jackets, and an outfit pieced collectively from rainbow-colored flyers printed on leather-based, that includes the brand of Goldie’s document label Metalheadz.
Abloh mentioned he wasn’t enjoying alongside conventional gender strains both. “We have straight-up A-line skirts. It’s liberating in 2021,” he mentioned, pointing to a black-and-white rain jacket worn over a hoop skirt. The designer considers the pure evolution of a yr that has seen social points from Black Lives Matter to trans rights take middle stage.
“The next thing in fashion isn’t in fashion. It’s in people, it’s in the atmosphere, it’s in the streets, it’s in the socio-political,” he mentioned. “Decision, gender, diversity: those aren’t even hot topics. That’s top line. That’s already been established. Now, it’s developing men’s wear into showing the freedom that can be.”
Now on his seventh assortment for the home, Abloh feels more and more reliable in delivering his perspective. “I’m older, so I don’t feel the fear of being young and trying to stake a claim or aim high,” he mentioned. Yet the striver in him is rarely far under the floor: by bringing the bootleg again to the supply, he’s scored yet one more win for the tradition.