Virgil Abloh and Nigo

Portrait of Virgil Abloh and Nigo by Nick Haymes.

Nigo x Virgil Abloh

Courtesy of Louis Vuitton.

Nigo x Virgil Abloh

Courtesy of Louis Vuitton.

Nigo x Virgil Abloh

Courtesy of Louis Vuitton.

Nigo x Virgil Abloh

Courtesy of Louis Vuitton.

Nigo x Virgil Abloh

Courtesy of Louis Vuitton.

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New York

Nigo x Abloh: Bringing London Mod with a touch of Tokyo to Louis Vuitton Men’s

Louis Vuitton’s Pre-Fall 2020 menswear capsule collection, “LV2,” offers a handsome collaboration between creative director Virgil Abloh and Nigo, founder of Human Made and, previously, BAPE.

“It’s Louis Vuitton, squared: It represents a coming together of two people, who appreciated this house long before we worked in it. Two people, who didn’t go to fashion school but came through a different door, which was about brands and what branding means,” said Abloh. “LV2 signifies a squaring that creates a new dimension.”

Nigo is an avid Louis Vuitton collector, and his practice has been molded by cultural elements like his Japanese roots, a career as a DJ, and time spent soaking up London’s fashion scene in the 1990s. It was these influences that brought him to a collection inspired by the style of London’s mod-era dandies, infused with the spirit of Tokyo fashion.

Slightly unexpected coming from two designers who have specialized in streetwear in the past, the main event of “LV2” is a selection of tailored suits. Lean silhouettes styled with pieces like skinny ties, bombers, and cropped jackets with matching vests (à la 1960s) add a lens of nostalgia to looks made to inspire the modern man.

The maison’s iconic Damier check takes the spotlight across all categories, including in a magnified iteration covering matching suits, denim, and leather accessories, as well as a micro check version—seen in looks like a gray printed suit paired with a parka, sunglasses, and glossy black loafers. Subtle urban influences were applied to classic house codes through details including patchworking of the check and “LV” monogram prints; top-to-bottom denim looks (often complete with matching bucket hats); and illustration-style graphics reading “LV Made,” in reference to Nigo’s own brand.

To learn more about the collaboration and its influences, Whitewall spoke to Nigo.

WHITEWALL: How did your collaboration with Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton come about?

NIGO: I’ve known Virgil for a long time—probably about 15 years. He came to my studio in Tokyo after he had started the LV job and asked if I’d be interested in doing something together.

He knows that I also have a long relationship with LV. I’ve been a customer and collector for years. It feels like a good time for us to all come together.

WW: How did you and Virgil Abloh approach the Louis Vuitton capsule collection?

N: Virgil simply asked me to come up with some ideas, initially. Since the brand has always meant a lot to me, I knew immediately what I wanted to do. It was then a process of seeing which ideas he thought we should pursue and refining it together with Virgil’s team in meetings in the Paris atelier. It’s really very similar to my usual working method, and everything happened very smoothly. I really enjoyed it.

WW: Rather than streetwear-focused, as some might expect, the capsule collection is sartorial and tailoring-focused. Why did it feel relevant to you to explore this area of menswear?

N: Well, it’s for LV, and I selfishly designed things that I would personally want to find in LV stores. I’ve always made tailored clothes and been fascinated by the look and process. To me, this is a logical place to explore that further.

WW: What are the messages and spirit of the collection?

N: My aim was to present a complete look within this small collection that can provide a different angle from which to view the Louis Vuitton brand as a whole. I have felt a real connection to LV since I can remember, so for me to be able to express that through my own interpretation, at a time when Virgil is creative director, is a genuine pleasure.

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