Exhibitions, collaborations, DJ sets, the responsibility of two fashion houses, family, travels. Everything will remain in stand-by. The news of Virgil Abloh's medical leave has just arrived: three months off from the fashion shows, as he himself announced on September 9th through The Business of Fashion. A declaration that is not synonymous of weakness and once again demonstrates the media power of the designer. The man of the catwalks, Virgil Abloh can openly say that he needs to take time for himself. The stylist himself is a person of his time: sensitive to the power of market strategies and those who are influencing it. The concept of pre-collection elaborated by Abloh starts from its declaredly martial-wise connotation. "By investigating which are the fundamental pieces of the wardrobe, which traditionally characterize the pre-collections, I decided to celebrate the commercial side rather than deny it, as fashion tends to do. When you think of a pre-collection, the clothes do not require any inspirational ostentation. Not everything is necessarily poetic. Let's call it the way it's called. These are essential pieces of the look-giver". The inspiration comes from the street, or rather, from watching the "cool kids" dictate the rules of style. "The guys who do what they like and set the premises for tomorrow's news are a constant stimulus. I started from the idea that fashion has streetwear, or something connected with the street and with sportswear, when in reality sportswear today includes all the categories of clothing, from tailoring to sports and what is in the middle. This collection studies the act of perfecting the fundamental elements of the wardrobe. It has to do with converting everything that is normally considered to be low-level, into something higher." But if the street is no longer street how can it be defined? "Streetwear has evolved into something that can be called "lifewear". Perhaps it sounds like a force, but it is indicative of a social climate where the old values attributed to a more conformist view of the dress code have been replaced in favor of a freer approach. A clothing that, in fact, embraces all the ways of dressing, from the very casual to the extremely formal. And above all, in my opinion, the contemporary idea of streetwear is that of a clothing that is absolutely chic". The pieces selected by Virgil Abloh for the S/S 2020 Pre-Collection are all evergreens. "They are those classic looks that have passed the test of time: the Saharan, the safari jacket, the aviator, the anorak, the down jacket and so on. A reason like desert camouflage is so intrinsic to streetwear that its emotional value almost corresponds to that of the Monogram Louis Vuitton, which I used. The same could be said of the cargo pockets, which have been interpreted as if they were bags integrated into the trousers since S/S 2019. For the S/S 2020 Pre-Collection, those looks with multiple pockets were covered with collages of paintings by Raphael." The office jumper is a strong piece. "A group photo of Louis Vuitton members wearing a sweater is depicted on the jacquard crew neck sweater. All were represented as anonymous figures, without gender or race, without a preconceived identity. Because we are all one. "His role as new creative director of the men's division of Louis Vuitton, successor to Kim Jones (now head of Dior menswear), is announced publicly in March 2018, two months before his debut fashion show. Michael Burke, the current CEO of the Maison, declares immediately after taking office: "I followed with great interest Virgil's rise, with whom I worked at Fendi in 2006, and I am thrilled to see how her innate creativity and the his anticonformist approach made him so influential, not only in the fashion world but also in today's pop culture. His sensitivity for luxury and savoir-faire will be the key to bringing Louis Vuitton menswear to the future". Expectations that did not disappoint. His entourage made up of celebs, including A$AP Rocky, the Dides, the Kardashians, Kanye West, did nothing but increase its popularity.
Foto Fumi Nagasaka