In one of his last interviews, Virgil Abloh, men’s artistic director of Louis Vuitton, spoke about reprising his show in Miami and what the city meant to him. Louis Vuitton shared the contents of the interview exclusively with WWD.
Why are you doing a spring-summer 2022 spin-off show?
Virgil Abloh: More than a spin-off, this show is part of the collection arc that continues to shape and evolve the Louis Vuitton men’s realm. The pandemic pushed us to adapt our storytelling through new formats, from films to destination shows. This collection is an ongoing tale originally told through film, on which we’re now elaborating on a runway. We’re not simply adding more looks, but creating a physical frame, which both reiterates and cultivates the overall context that began with collection one three years ago.
How would you describe the show?
The collection is founded in a desire to erase the unconscious biases connected with certain dress codes based on the way society programs us to think growing up. We’re framing that premise in symbolism native to the idea of boyhood, an ideology that continues to be part of the Louis Vuitton men’s practice. Recurring elements like paper planes and hot air balloons pertain to this notion: the unspoiled imagination of a child, who dreams of flying. It’s a metaphor for possibility and open-mindedness, and our need to reconnect with those instincts on a big scale.
What does Miami mean to you?
Because of its cross-cultural character, Miami has a special place in the consciousness of style and fashion. Take, for instance, the Cuban link chain, which is a cornerstone of the Louis Vuitton men’s jewelry. It originated in the Cuban-influenced style culture of Miami, but became an emblem of a metonymic era of hip-hop. That discourse is pertinent to the magic of Miami, and also to our work. It’s a place of possibility, and an appropriate destination for our first men’s store.
What does the men’s store signify to you?
The store is part of the arc: you can draw a direct line from the collections to the campaigns to the stores, and to the next collections. Located in the Design District, it’s self-explanatory: our stores are not just shopping destinations, but places of exploration. We fill them with architecture, art and spaces that change on a regular basis. We’ve commissioned a diamond screen facade inspired by Marcel Wanders Studio’s existing Objets Nomades for Louis Vuitton, there’s a design display by Pierre Paulin and there will be temporary residences in-store.