After a long wait, Virgil Abloh showcases why he is the light that Louis Vuitton and the luxury fashion industry needs.

Published on June 22, 2018

Less than 24 hours the debut of his Spring/Summer 2018 Off-White collection, on June 21, Virgil Abloh showcased his highly-anticipated first collection for Louis Vuitton Men’s. His 56-look collection gives us a comprehensive overview of the next generation’s perception of luxury fashion.

Throughout the collection, Abloh enabled us to see that the future of fashion is an attitude or an outlook on life rather than a formality of dress. Accordingly, the Louis Vuitton show was an amalgamation of refined monochromatic suits, luxe tee shirts, tie-dye pants, and cargo vests.

The Louis Vuitton Men’s brand new aesthetic is not necessarily radical for the luxury heritage designer house or the newly appointed head designer. Abloh has a knack for understanding the ethos of a person, a brand, a generation – a way of being – and then exploit its most vulnerable qualities in an aesthetically pleasing way. While white looks dominated the former part of the show, from the looks debuted for Louis Vuitton, we see that the creative director’s unique approach assumes different personas in order to best cater to the core audience of each of his respective brands.

For his Off-White collection, Abloh creates novelty fashions out of ironic objects. This cynical aesthetic not only brings humor to the luxury apparel and accessories market but is a sign of the times. In an age where one’s political correctness takes priority over her personality, Abloh wants us to understand that it is always possible to express one’s true self through fashion.

Abloh’s collection shows that it is essential for us to accept our unique personalities as fluid spectrums of emotion, situation, and being. The casualization of luxury fashion is not new. However, Abloh’s democratic approach to forward-thinking fashion is unique and definitely cutting-edge.

Yes, the aesthetic of Abloh’s clothes breaks the boundaries of traditional dress, but the cultural underpinnings of his creations are truly his trademark. On a sartorial level, in typical Abloh fashion, the new creative director for the luxury designer house centered his debut show around the journey of a T-shirt. This ironic yet impactful gesture suggests that, for the next generation, fashion is not about formality, but about transparency and timeliness.

If clothes, shoes, and bags alone cannot stand the test of time, how can a designer keep an audience’s attention?

Abloh knows the answer: promote social good and align the brand’s aesthetics to your audience’s values. Accordingly, the designer invited artist students from around the world to sit right behind industry insiders in the front row. Each invitee received a specially made T-shirt from Abloh which they all proudly wore. From above, these tee-shirts, dubbed, “The T-Shirts” gave the runway a rainbow look.

Abloh makes it clear that, for the next era of the Louis Vuitton dynasty, socially-good and democratic designs will take center stage. The designer seamlessly integrated his authentic emotions and a diverse audience into this sartorial spectacle.

Abloh shows that, fortunately, inclusivity can seamlessly integrate itself into every facet of the fashion industry. Check out images and a full rundown of the show here.

Elisa Lewittes is a contributing editor and marketing strategist at Grit Daily. She specializes in the luxury fashion and lifestyle fields. Her other professional interests include business, entrepreneurship, and psychology. Elisa lives in Manhattan, New York.

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