LIKE A VIRGIL: Virgil Abloh’s first designs for Louis Vuitton have yet to hit the French luxury giant’s boutique network, but they’re already selling up a storm.
A pop-up in Tokyo that opened last week raked in 30 percent more in the first 48 hours than Vuitton’s collaborative collection with Supreme in 2018, Vuitton chief executive officer Michael Burke told WWD.
He attributed the success to “pure unadulterated desire,” citing particularly strong demand for tailored ready-to-wear, mini trunks in white leather and transparent and iridescent weekend bags.
“It was merchandised as a full collection,” he said, also noting that the rush came despite no dedicated marketing campaign, advertising or gifting. About 1,000 people queued up in the Japanese capital to be among the first to buy.
The Supreme collaboration, seen as a watershed moment for streetwear, sold exclusively last June through eight pop-ups in Paris, London, Miami, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul and Sydney.
Vuitton opted for a similar stealth approach for Abloh’s debut spring 2019 collection, first hosting pop-up stores in London and Shanghai last October. One in New York also opened last week, with the first day an invitation-only event for 200 people.
Crowned WWD’s Newsmaker of the Year last year, Abloh went from launching the streetwear label Off-White to heading the men’s division of the world’s biggest luxury brand within four years.
His Vuitton collection is slated to arrive in about 30 Louis Vuitton boutiques on Jan. 18, and Abloh will show his second collection for the house on Thursday during men’s fashion week in Paris.