It was only in January this year that Louis Vuitton announced a partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA). While the NBA has had collaborations with various fashion brands over the years, the three-year deal is the first of its kind, and especially one of this magnitude.
Louis Vuitton's trunk-making craftsmanship and heritage have been the centrepiece to many sports championships over the years. The maison's travel trophy cases have been crafted to hold the championship trophies of the 35th edition of The America's Cup, 2015's Rugby World Cup, Roland-Garros, the Fifa World Cup (for three consecutive editions), as well as the first eSports trophy case for the League of Legends 2019 World Championships. And now, Louis Vuitton is officially the first travel trophy case provider for the NBA.
The handcrafted case—made by the maison's artisans at its famed Asnìeres workshop—was presented at last week's NBA Finals 2020 in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida. The case featured the maison's distinct Monogram canvas and was fitted with brass fixtures. A 'V' was splashed across the front of the case in red, white and blue—to symbolise 'Victory Travels in Louis Vuitton'—with the interior taking on the NBA's traditional blue colour.
While the travel trophy case and the Larry O'Brien Trophy belongs to the Los Angeles Lakers, us non-professional athletes have the LVxNBA capsule collection to get into.
Basketball players are no slouches when it comes to both on- and off-court styles. If they're repping some of the fanciest sneakers while making solid gameplays, they're also making stylish choices away from the arenas. Artistic director Virgil Abloh took into account a player's wardrobe for LVxNBA—outfits for travels and transits, game arrivals, and press conferences—and incorporated the NBA's logo into a continuous pattern for the collection's line of ready-to-wear. The pattern appears like a reworked houndstooth pattern on a two-buttoned suit, while a more subtle option is available in full black. One could even pair the entire look with matching black leather loafers that are also decorated with the same motif.
LVxNBA accessories include fashion jewellery that take the form of heavy-chain necklaces with pendants featuring an array of NBA and Louis Vuitton motifs, and backpacks and messengers crafted in Monogram canvas but topped with an NBA logo. Even the iconic Louis Vuitton Keepall has been reworked with a basketball netting details at each side—a combination of the maison's savoir-faire and an homage to the sport.
But that's not all. The first LVxNBA experience is rounded off with the LVxNBA trunk. The double-door wardrobe trunk is fit for any sneaker fiend. Or those who want their most precious style possessions displayed in a trunk that marries one's love for Louis Vuitton's craftsmanship with the spirit of the NBA. Just like the travel trophy case, the exterior is fully covered with Monogram canvas and golden hardware. It's interior however, references the NBA's official colours of red, white and blue.
A travel trophy case, a capsule collection and a wardrobe trunk; now that's an extensive collaboration.
The LVxNBA capsule collection is part of Louis Vuitton's spring/summer 2021 pre-collection and will be available from 20 November 2020.