Louis Vuitton Shanghai

The fashion industry, especially as it pertains to runway, is certainly being reshaped because of the pandemic. Designers are reevaluating their plans for fashion shows and collection debuts into digital and small-scale events. For Louis Vuitton, their Mens Spring 2021 collection took them across the globe, to Shanghai, China.

In an interesting debut, models walked down a catwalk in a seemingly normal runway experience. However, both the audience and models were all locals, but the creative director, now at home in America, nor anyone from L.V.’s Paris headquarters had traveled to China for the show. Nothing but the garments themselves made the journey overseas.

Back in July, the French brand released a short animated video, created by Black animation director Reggie Know, which hinted at cartoon characters sneaking off to shipping containers on their way to Asia. These LV adorned characters were present all through the show, from giant inflatables coming out of the LV shipping containers and even onto the clothing.

On a call with Vogue, the creative director, Virgil Abloh described the latest collection as a series of various thought processes, brought about by his collaboration with all-Black animators, musicians, and the stylist Ibrahim Kamara. He called this seasons collection his response to, “these tumultuous times…this year of reckoning.”

The show started with structured and tailored suits that were reminiscent to his last few collections, however quickly transformed into quirky, mismatched silhouettes which Abloh called, “hynovisualism.” In other words, the Black imagination, which corresponds to the visual animation video created. Abloah’s own personal imagination aligned with his Ghanian heritage to create colorful, whimsical, and hypnotic garments.

Even further, the designer told Vogue he utilized many recycled fabrics from previous seasons into the latest collection to create, “Upcycling Ideology.” This notion, the designer went on, was inspired by his thoughts, “about man’s relationship to earth. I decided there’s so much placed on ‘the new’ in fashion. I’m saying to my consumer that value doesn’t deteriorate over time,” he said. Just like many other designers this season, Louis Vuitton showcased a collection that is truly telling of the time period we are in.
By Staci Soslowitz