Louis Vuitton Menswear Launch: Virgil Abloh adopts a ‘seasonless’ approach

The designer decided to create a film based on cartoons and photographs to show new work, as physical displays were out of the question.

Louis Vuitton presented its digital take on the physical fashion show with a menswear movie that combined animation and photography, as a trippy take of Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Three-minute-long film featured cartoon characters who bounced off Paris landmarks: an uncanny Kermitesque Kermit-esque frog towered above the Arc de Triomphe. A pterodactyl flew above the River Seine. A few clothes were missing, aside from a suede jacket and Vuitton-branded boiler suits featuring face masks. This was explained in a press release. The collection would be launched gradually over the coming months, traveling by sea to finally be displayed at a Shanghai-based show on 6 August.

The label’s menswear artistic director, Virgil Abloh, told trade title WWD that this new approach would be “seasonless” and that, rather than returning to the status quo, he wanted to use the enforced disruption to propose “a new system”.

Abloh launched a $1m (PS800,000.000) scholarship fund for black creatives. He faced huge backlash after he made comments about looting related to protests caused by George Floyd’s murder. Abloh was pilloried because he expressed disgust at Sean Wotherspoon’s damage to his shop. He was also mocked for only donating $50 to a protester’s bail fund.

This scholarship is designed to change the conversation. Its initial $1m endowment will be used to support at least 100 students with “academic promise Black, African-American or of African descent”. The scholarship can also be used to invest in more education programmes.

Abloh was often criticised for his “Trojan Horse”, fashion representations through his work and perspective, even before the backlash.

“In the tone of 2020, I come under the microscope a lot,” Abloh told Vogue on Thursday, speaking about the launch of the scholarship. “That microscope doesn’t look at others. That’s how the chips have landed.”

He continued, “I’m going to not go back to business and pretend that the awakenings we’re still undergoing aren’t happening. Although I didn’t take it lightly, I believe that my voice was not clear and loud enough to resonate. It’s been there in my work since the beginning. But it’s not new to me. But now it’s only on my terms.”

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