To mark the end of the NBA Championship, Louis Vuitton has unveiled its first men’s wear capsule collection designed by Virgil Abloh as part of a three-year partnership with the National Basketball Association.
The Los Angeles Lakers clinched the franchise’s 17th championship on Sunday with a win over the Miami Heat. LeBron James secured his fourth MVP award, and his fourth title with his third team.
Interest in the LV x NBA collaboration spiked after images of one of the shoes, a light brown suede boot, leaked online late last month. Now WWD can exclusively reveal the key looks from the limited-edition collection, which goes on sale Nov. 20, including shoes, bags, ready-to-wear and jewelry featuring the NBA logo.
The deal, revealed by WWD in January, marks Vuitton’s first and only partnership with a North American sports league, and is designed to reflect Abloh’s vision of inclusion.
“Fashion muses aren’t predictable. Ideas of luxury can be found in the sports world and its champions as much as in traditional forms of artistry. This collection celebrates the cultural contribution of basketball and its diverse characters, and the idea of relatability as a force of unity today,” the designer said in a statement.
Based on the idea of a player’s wardrobe, the collection is divided into three sections: travel, embodied by casual items like a gray cashmere track suit; game arrival, which includes leather jackets, monogram jeans and T-shirts, and press conference, featuring more tailored looks.
The NBA logo has been multiplied into a pattern resembling a houndstooth motif on a light gray suit, shirt and sweatshirt. It appears as a patch on leather jackets with a pattern inspired by the lines of a basketball, or as an intarsia inset on a cardigan with the LV initials on the back.
Bags also draw on the red, white and blue colors of the NBA emblem. They include a multipocket backpack with white contrast straps, a Keepall with a netted side panel reminiscent of a basketball hoop, and a new version of the Nil messenger bag, among others.
Shoes range from chunky-soled leather derbies to classic loafers, lace-up leather boots and slip-ons, each featuring the new LV x NBA logo on the footbed. Meanwhile, fashion jewelry includes chunky gold or rhinestone chains with NBA logo medallions.
The Larry O’Brien Trophy, presented annually to the NBA team that wins the finals, now travels in a case custom-made by six craftsmen working more than 100 hours at the Vuitton workshops in the Paris suburb of Asnières. Coated in the house’s signature monogram canvas, it is lined with microfiber in the NBA’s trademark blue.
Vuitton has created a matching double-door wardrobe trunk, designed to house clothing, accessories and footwear.
Vuitton opened the luxury doors to sportswear with its 2017 collaboration with Supreme, and the trend shows no sign of waning, as evidenced by recent partnerships between Prada and Adidas, and Dior with Nike’s Jordan Brand.