Fashion Shows - Men 20/01

Men's Fall-Winter 2021 Show

Virgil Abloh presents his latest Louis Vuitton collection as a multi-disciplinary artistic performance expressed in poetry, dance and music, and captured between Paris and a village in the Swiss mountains.


Investigating the unconscious biases instilled in our collective psyche by the archaic norms of society, the collection’s presentation is thematically informed by James Baldwin’s seminal 1953 essay “Stranger in the Village.” Through his experiences as an African-American visitor in a Swiss village, Baldwin’s essay serves as a leitmotif for Abloh’s explorations of a familiar present-day experience by reflecting society’s established structure of cultural outsiders vs. insiders.


Embodying the physical confrontations with the psychological conflicts explored in Baldwin’s essay, the set configures and reconfigures the Swiss village through an abstract marble stage that represents the author’s shifting emotions. Featuring an all-star cast of artists, the performance revolves around the figurative notion of the art heist that is the art world’s theft and re-appropriation of foundations of cultural heritage. In keeping with Louis Vuitton’s sustainability efforts, the majority of the wood and stone used to construct the show set has been donated for reuse by partners in the Arts and Culture sectors.


The collection takes archetypes – the writer, the artist, the drifter, the salesman, the hotelier, the gallery owner, the architect, the student – and investigates the dress codes that inform our predetermined perceptions of these familiar characters. By employing fashion as a tool to change those assumptions, Virgil Abloh imbues the grammar of these codes with different values.



Throughout the collection garments, accessories, motifs and techniques play on themes of illusion, replicating the familiar through the deceptive lenses of trompe l’oeil and filtrage, and re-appropriating the normal through extreme elevation. Virgil Abloh invited conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner to construct a series of aphorisms-as-patterns tied to the collection’s premises: “YOU CAN TELL A BOOK BY ITS COVER”, “THE SAME PLACE AT THE SAME TIME”, “( SOMEWHERE SOMEHOW )”.