Virgil Abloh's time at Louis Vuitton marks a significant change in the codes of the men's segment of the maison. Abloh brought along his edgy, streetwear aesthetic, transforming Louis Vuitton's icons into covetable pieces that have been elevated and are more appealing to a younger audience. There are now plastic chains on almost every men's leather goods, including Abloh's softer interpretation of the classic Louis Vuitton trunk.
In an almost direct extension of his leitmotif for the maison, Abloh's first men's fashion jewellery collection for Louis Vuitton is a series of, well, chains. Yet there's a significant reason for this. Abloh's appointment as men's artistic director was historic as he's the first person of colour to hold the position at Louis Vuitton. And besides changing up the aesthetic, he's brought in a much-needed sense of diversity—from the casting of models to the influences behind each collection.
Choosing to debut a series of chains as part of his first men's jewellery line for Louis Vuitton, is an homage to black culture; one that can only be done by Abloh without detractors screaming 'cultural appropriation'. The LV Chain Links series is an interpretation of Cuban chain jewellery that have become synonymous with black rappers and hip-hop artists, although various other subcultures have been known to wear them too.
Men's jewellery is starting to become a big trend for 2019. But before you jump in on it, here are five things to know about Virgil Abloh's first men's fashion jewellery collection for Louis Vuitton.
The series is concise
The LV Chain Links series comes in both necklace and bracelet forms. Which means, you can either go minimal with just one or the other, or be a baller and match your necklace and bracelet together.
Plain or decorated
Each LV Chain Link bracelet or necklace is available in two variations. The first is a palladium-finish that's perfect for daily wear, and is minimally decorated with the LV Monogram. The second is a more vibrant rendition that's reminiscent of the rainbow spectrum of colours that was Abloh's debut collection for Louis Vuitton. The LV Chain Link Patches features coloured enamel, brass with aged-gold effect, palladium finishing with Monogram engraving, and crystals—all on different links but on the same chain.
The fashion jewellery collection also features two additional pieces that are both designed in white ceramic. The LV Chain Links necklace in ceramic features a mini version of the plastic chains that we're now familiar with, connected to an LV pendant in white ceramic. For fans of signet rings, the collection's version is crafted out of white ceramic with palladium-finished inserts.
A new clasp
It won't be easy for these pieces to be nabbed off of you. Except for the white ceramic pieces, the clasps have been specially designed to be easily slid in and locked into place, and securely fastened until you want the jewellery removed.
Every piece of the collection is topped off with the ®—registered trademark—symbol that's embellished on each clasp, together with the LV symbol.
Virgil Abloh's first men's fashion jewellery collection is now available at the Louis Vuitton Marina Bay Sands Island Maison, and Ngee Ann City boutiques. Prices start at SGD900.