Louis Vuitton created a huge buzz in December 2019 when it announced an upcoming collaboration between artistic director Virgil Abloh and Japanese fashion designer NIGO, and the “LV²” capsule collection’s Lookbook images do not disappoint. The capsule collection’s name LV² was proposed by NIGO to describe the dual design approach; “squaring” is the multiplication of a number by itself and it is also an acknowledgment that one idea can co-exist with another. The resulting standalone collection mixes Louis Vuitton’s signature Damier pattern with NIGO’s codes and influences including denim, patchwork-inspired stitching, graphic design, and streetwear. It is also worth noting that NIGO collects vintage workwear, and also took inspiration from Savile Row suiting which strongly informed trim and sophisticated pants, jackets, fringed scarves, and skinny Damier ties.
NIGO is known for streetwear, and so the collaboration reignited the controversy surrounding Abloh’s proclamation towards the end of 2019 that streetwear is “…definitely going to die”. When the LV² capsule collection Lookbook was released, Abloh clarified that the statement and explained that streetwear would die and be born again:
Last fall I did an interview where a quote was taken out of context; my sentiment was that streetwear will die….I didn’t say it to be polarizing. … If you speak to anyone that’s been in streetwear for the last 15 years, it’s always had this sort of nine lives, dying and coming back, and dying and coming back. There’s so many first generation streetwear brands, stores, and retailers. The market wasn’t as vibrant as it is now, so they went out of business and people don’t remember those. … Partially what I meant [by] “it will die” is that new things like tailoring from guys like Nigo and me will be born from the regeneration of it.
— Virgil Abloh, Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton Men’s
NIGO and Abloh’s collaborative LV² capsule collection is slated to launch this summer, in line with Pre-Fall 2020 timing.