For Pre-Spring 2022, Louis Vuitton launches its second LV2 collection – “Louis Vuitton squared” – continuing the creative conversation between Men’s Artistic Director Virgil Abloh™ and Nigo®, the founder of the label Human Made. United by friendship and a shared subcultural practice popularly known as streetwear, the two designers investigate their diverse cultural roots under the global emblem of Louis Vuitton. The sophomore season expands on this exchange in a celebration of Nigo®’s Japanese provenance, the inherent tapestry of his fashion upbringing, and the geo-specific gaze on the Western men’s wardrobe instilled in him from boyhood.
Informed by Nigo®’s personal collections of British subcultural dress, LV2 cross-pollinates a Western 1950s and ‘60s’ tailoring silhouette with a Japanese sensibility. Garments and accessories native to sartorial tropes, military icons and traditional costume are observed through a decidedly formalised lens, consistently imbuing the casual with a heightened elegance. 1950s’ workwear blazers materialise in colour-blocking alongside generational denim suits constructed in Monogram camouflage. Nodding at prep uniforms, a cropped rowing blazer is emblazoned with the Monogram stripes used on the lining of Louis Vuitton trunks, while chino-like trousers evoke a schoolboy fit.
Pieces central to the classic men’s wardrobe splice with the properties of kimonos: the belt of a navy wool coat nods at the obi, a tailored jacket in striped Monogram features a wrap structure, and shirting is infused with kimono codes. Instinctively, this cultural cross-pollination intersects with the travel territory of Louis Vuitton. The process sees the classic Damier pattern mutate into a post-stamp likeness, exercised on a red and white shirt, a fleece jacket, and detachable jersey sleeves. Likewise, Virgil Abloh™ applies his travel-centric accessomorphosis technique – the morphing of bags and garments – to a jacket in the Monogram coated canvas employed in the Maison’s bags
Boyish mascot motifs adorn the collection and serve as a new idea of logos, from duck-shaped buttons and bags to tiger heads and stripes, and the red hearts key in the graphics used by Nigo® at Human Made. A protection boot features patches embellished with these motifs, which can be swapped or removed, while the LV Trainer has been reinterpreted with all-over graphics. A second LV Trainer is realised in a grainy leather base and denim drip-shaped fabric; another variation appears in the post-stamped Damier, a detail echoed in a sleek leather boot with a cut-out detail revealing the pattern.
Through the eyes of Nigo®, classic Louis Vuitton bag designs integrate Japanese elements, such as a cruiser bag with a small scarf knotting detail informed by furoshiki wrapping cloths; similarly, a large summer tote features a folded construction on the side. A cross-body bag morphs into the image of a duck, highlighting the playful spirit of the collection likewise expressed in artisanal enamel jewellery pieces with silver finishing. Here, rings, earrings, tie clips, brooches, and keyrings manifest in the images of the duck, tiger and heart, while a crystal necklace and a Cuban chain bracelet with the LV2 logo cement the shared – and squared – premise of the creative dialogue.