Virgil Abloh’s design hand was most often driven by what he heard over what he saw. Alongside his posts at Louis Vuitton and Off-White, the late creative visionary – who tragically died last November after a silent battle with cancer – was a globe-trotting DJ, playing some of the biggest stages worldwide. He remains adored by music’s most lauded figures, many of whom were collaborators of Abloh’s throughout his career – from Kanye West through to A$AP Rocky, and Tyler, The Creator.

Before his passing, Abloh had the idea to create a collection centred around the mindset of a musical youth, aligning with his boyish design philosophy. Fully realised by Abloh’s Louis Vuitton design team, the house’s pre-spring 2023 collection creates a metaphorical image of a musical school, where the most illustrious names in music’s history are studied and re-sampled – aligning with the philosophy of Abloh’s own creative process.

Captured in the hallowed halls of the Centre National de la Danse institution in Paris, the collection is split into two parts, built around a wardrobe of an experimental musician’s formative years as they step into their own. The first, dubbed The Concert Goer, is occupied by oversized silhouettes designed to be grown into. Like split hem cargo trousers, butterfly mohair vests and laser-edged varsity leather jackets.

The second part takes shape surrounding a music student’s daily uniform. Through Abloh’s eyes, this consists of classic suiting worn with footy scarves, monogram leather puffers jackets and button-up shirts plastered in a hippy-esque logo motif.

What’s more, att the core of the collection is a new line of bags that take their queues from the graffiti tribute wall that has been created in the designer’s memory outside of his Rue du Pont Neuf studio. Abloh’s vision for Louis Vuitton continues to march to the beat of a new generation.

Photography courtesy of Louis Vuitton.

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