Abloh's Louis Vuitton designs inspired by Michael Jackson

Virgil Abloh showed his menswear for Louis Vuitton at Paris Fashion Week on Thursday.
Virgil Abloh showed his menswear for Louis Vuitton at Paris Fashion Week on Thursday.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

PARIS • There was steam rising from manholes while celebrities, including supermodel Naomi Campbell, sat on doorsteps.

On Thursday, Louis Vuitton recreated a nocturnal New York cityscape to present designer Virgil Abloh's latest Michael Jackson-inspired collection in Paris.

Parent group LVMH spared no expense to promote the brand - at a time when menswear is on the up - by creating the set.

It is betting on Abloh - a friend of singer Kanye West and a DJ-turned-designer who helped make hoodies a luxury staple - to broaden Vuitton's reach with male shoppers, as it pushes menswear at its Christian Dior, Celine and Givenchy labels too.

The collection featured nods to the late King of Pop, though aside from the sparkling gloves and wide-brimmed fedora hats that were among Jackson's trademarks, most looks were more subtle, in a range with heavy doses of beige and grey.

They included coats with a military cut, for instance, or leather jackets in a bold red often favoured by Jackson, who was described in show notes as "light years ahead of his time" in the way he carved out his style and identity.

Luxury groups are experiencing a boom in menswear sales, traditionally a smaller sideline, thanks to a streetwear trend reflected in the success of items such as pricey sneakers.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 19, 2019, with the headline 'Abloh's LV designs inspired by Michael Jackson'. Print Edition | Subscribe