Since presenting his first collection for Louis Vuitton Men’s precisely twelve months ago, the architect turned designer has made it his mission to pry open the airtight barrier that surrounds the luxury fashion universe.
And it’s working. In January, it was reported that Abloh’s first drop for Louis Vuitton was selling faster than the Supreme collaboration Kim Jones’ engineered for the storied French brand.
But it’s not just the clothes Abloh’s making that are democratising the LV world. The personalities he’s placing on his Louis Vuitton runways are (arguably) doing just as much to broaden the brand’s reach. Instead of casting whoever’s trending on models.com, Abloh’s expanded his roster of men to include interesting creatives from just about every discipline.
And his spring 2020 collection, which was unveiled among the cobblestoned streets of Paris’ Place Dauphine on June 20, cranked up the celeb-cameo factor even further than we thought it could go. But the men that wore his pastel-coloured palazzo pants and pleated chiffon hoodies weren’t famous in the conventional sense of the word.
They were guys like skater/photographer Evan Mock, Aussie actor Keiynan Lonsdale, K-Pop star Mino and Arsenal FC player Hector Bellerin – the kind of people you follow on Instagram not because they turn up at fashion week dressed in nice clothes, but because their entire being drips with a sense of cultured cool that you can’t help but be infatuated. These are the types Abloh is out to align his new LV Men’s with.
But the star factor didn’t begin and end on the runway. Frank Ocean, Dev Hynes, Miguel, Swae Lee, British rapper Octavian and grime star Skepta were among the musical contingent of Abloh’s front row. Model Gigi Hadid, F1 driver Lewis Hamilton and actor/director Joel Egderton rounded out the calibre of names in attendance.
Keiynan Lonsdale looked beyond dreamy in a pair of rainbow shorts and matching sweater, a bag bursting with wildflowers trailing from his right arm.
Crafted from sheets of feather-light chiffon, Evan Mock’s look was no less dreamy. But we didn’t need a Louis Vuitton show to tell us the native Hawaiian looks good in pastel-coloured clothes. Mock took a few soft-hued ’fits for a spin around Sydney for GQ Australia's May/June issue, which coincidentally included a couple of pieces from Abloh’s first collection for LV Men’s.
“I decided I’m not shifting gears every season – I saw that as a potential trap before I started. I stand for diversity and the idea that luxury can be something wider in this era,” Abloh told Vogue Runway after his SS20 show.
It sums up his trailblazing endeavours rather nicely. That, and the refreshing vein of consistency that seems to be emerging from every one of his collections.