Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton might be synonymous with streetwear and collaboration, but for his latest project with Nigo of Human Made, he subverted expectations with a surprisingly strong capsule collection.
Titled LV2—Louis Vuitton squared—the collection which encompasses ready-to-wear, leather goods, shoes and accessories puts a strong focus on tailoring. When their partnership was announced last December, it came on the heels of an interview that he gave Dazed, saying "streetwear is dead".
That statement is not one to be taken lightly, especially when it comes from Abloh who has built a career on streetwear. But in an interview with Vogue on using tailoring as a media for their narrative, he said, "if you were to say our names and that we’re doing something at Louis Vuitton, you would almost be able to predict it. But to me fashion with a capital F, it’s supposed to take you on a journey, to lead."
In a way, it harkens back to the title of their collaboration—the squaring of two streetwear giants interpreting the codes of Louis Vuitton. The result is a celebration of the travel-centric core of the house while defying expectations. The collection starts by going back to the roots of Nigo’s formative years, where he drew inspiration from London's subculture—think London Mod dandies seen through a Tokyo lens.
While tailoring defined the silhouette of the collection, the texture of the collection comes in the form of denim (a fabric close to the hearts of Abloh and Nigo), and the Louis Vuitton Damier check print. The latter appears in magnified forms on the suiting and accessories, as well as in a microform in the lining of a double-faced duffle coat.
But our favourite is the denim interpretation which sees a patchwork that melds both the Damier check as well as the Monogram of Louis Vuitton. That technique is also seen in the bags, where classic shapes from the house, like the tote, the keepall, and the money bag features an oversized Damier print, fused with the Monogram print using the drippy signature of Nigo's Ice Cream label.
Abloh and Nigo might have done something unexpected based on their track record, but this collection continues to prove that two heads are always better than one.