Is Virgil Changing Louis Vuitton’s DNA or Simply Enhancing It? text by Conrad Byer

Dear Shaded Viewers,

Virgil is not the quintessential designer/creative director, luxury fashion’s clientele is no longer solely the wealthy adult, and Virgil has appropriately embraced all of this. Currently holding the highest output rate of his fashion week peers, he has introduced three spanking new collections to the public. One might say, the most important of these three being his first Louis Vuitton’s Men’s collection. The fashion house, most renowned for its leather accessories, was essentially beamed through a prism and as we know, when light passes through a glass prism, a rainbow exudes from the other side. This prism analogy is Mr. Abloh’s literal inspiration behind his LV collection.

But that might be the extent of the design aspect of things. Virgil’s modus operandi is not to change the fashion house’s DNA or design history. “I am only interested in editing something 3% from it’s original form.” Is what he said to Harvard’s Graduate School of Design when speaking on his widely successful project with Nike’s footwear. He is not creating a new brand. Rather, in applying his 3% rule, he enhanced prior men’s silhouettes with new colors, changed a regular hand bag to a cross body, added a chain to a few duffle straps, along with many other subtle, and not so subtle changes.







Nonetheless, falling within the range of the Louis Vuitton DNA, not ruffling the feathers of existing clients too much, but enough ruffling was done to ensure that Virgil is here to augment the luxury house.



What of his other 2 collections? A creative frenzy, is what one could call the past few months he’s spent curating the collections for his personal house of Off-White that many love to hate (and buy), along with Louis Vuitton’s. Of his Men’s Spring 2019, is a nod to London party culture, subtle proportion play, and that 3% rule coinciding with his contiued collaborations with Nike and Dr. Martens.


All these factors had a role in @virgilabloh’s Men’s Spring 19 show, and all seemingly inspired by the character Jim Stark from Rebel Without A Cause. Channeling Princess Diana and Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw in his recent well-selling womenswear collections, I can only wonder…to what extent is Jim Stark the apple of this season’s eye?



The Women’s Resort 2019 collection, inspired by his love of the cotton plant, was not very frivolous and superfluous in design, but rather meticulously and thoughtfully crafted for his clientele, the modern fashionista/fashionisto. Virgil has proven season after season why he is deserving of the title “Designer”.