The Best Stuff to Cop From Virgil Abloh’s Debut Louis Vuitton Collection
Vancouver's Holt Renfrew is the only Canadian retailer where you can nab the streetwear phenom's menswear in advance of its international release.
January 23, 2019
When American streetwear phenom Virgil Abloh was appointed Louis Vuitton’s new artistic director of menswear last spring, the fashion world was sent in a tizzy. Founder of Off-White (the luxury Italian label you may recognize for “its” “distinct” “typography”) and former creative director of rapper Kanye West, the 38-year-old has established himself as something of a disrupter—effortlessly merging the worlds of high fashion and streetwear and collaborating with brands like Nike and Warby Parker, all while garnering a massively loyal fan base in ways that, in the old guard of the fashion industry, were largely unprecedented.
With the announcement, Abloh also became Louis Vuitton’s first African-American designer, and one of only two people of colour to lead a major fashion house. So it’s no surprise that it was with bated breath that critics, Off-White devotees and curious onlookers alike awaited his inaugural presentation at Paris Fashion Week in June. And the designer certainly delivered: the Wizard of Oz–inspired spring/summer 2019 exhibition, entitled The Vocabulary According to Virgil Abloh, made as many headlines for the artistic director’s emotional post-show embrace with West as it did for its introduction of “accessomorphosis,” wherein wallets, card holders and zip-up pouches were incorporated into tailored jackets, button-ups and layered bibs and harnesses. LV’s signature monogram handbags were reimagined, too, many of them getting a boost of cool from streetwear touches like a holographic colour scheme or the addition of a single fluorescent-orange chain.
Now, Vancouverites are among the first in the world to get their hands on the highly coveted collection, as Holt Renfrew Vancouver’s (737 Dunsmuir St.) Louis Vuitton boutique—its menswear pop-up, in particular—is the only Canadian retailer that’s been sent Abloh’s pieces in advance. Louis Vuitton outposts in New York, Los Angeles and Miami have also been given first dibs, though the rest of the world will have to wait until February. Which is to say—what are you still reading for? Scroll down for our top picks from the collection, quick, and make your way to Holt before they inevitably sell out. (And consider yourself warned!)