Updated: Oct 6, 2020
Louis Vuitton men’s designer Virgil Abloh held the second part of his Spring 2021 Menswear Collection in Tokyo on September 2nd. This follows his port show held in Shanghai last month. It was one of the continuing chapters in Virgil's and LV’s plan for seasonless men’s shows and the destination of a journey that blends analog and digital elements with Louis Vuitton's new interpretation of its roots peri-pandemic.
The venue for the show was the Tokyo International Cruise Terminal which was scheduled to open to the public in July but instead was postponed to a September 10th opening due to the coronavirus. The terminal is being billed as a gateway to Tokyo for the world’s largest cruise ships. It was built for an approximate cost of 39 billion yen ($367 million USD) according to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
Abloh used the characters of the animated film "The Adventure of Zoooom with Friends" which was released during Paris Digital Fashion Week in July. The story is based on a voyage from Paris to the world including the aforementioned cities of Shanghai and Tokyo. It consists of colorfully animated characters who sneak into ships and appear throughout the collections as brooches on jackets or acting as luxury stoles.
The collection itself included about 120 looks with 60 new ones for the Tokyo Show. It encompassed a melting pot of multi-cultural influences, ancestry, boyhood pasts and advancement. Included in the overall collection was the LV2 Collection in collaboration with NIGO® and anyone familiar with his Human Made signature would see it here.
This season embraces Virgil’s ongoing theme of “boyhood” and the importance of capturing things unfiltered like seeing through a child’s eyes without prejudice and cynicism. His Ghana roots influenced colors in the collection with the prominence of red, yellow and green. Indigenous Ghanaian Kente cloth pattern weavings were also infused into some pieces.
Finally, as with the Shanghai show was the emphasis on upcycling. These were separated into four categories; pieces upcycled by recycling material from overstock; pieces upcycled from recycled ideas; pieces upcycled through reiteration from the previous season; and pieces upcycled as part of the “Homework” initiative. The last initiative is a capsule collection developed by the menswear team from working at home and abiding by quarantine measures.
Images and film were provided by prolific Japanese director Takashi Miike and Nigerian-born artist and director Caleb Femi. Miike amusingly interspersed images of his 2001 ultra-violent cult Yakuza film “Ichi The Killer” into the presentation. Of course, the venue itself involved shipping containers, ships and harbor views.
Celebrities walking the show included Takumi Saitoh, Hiroya Shimizu and UTA. Stars in attendance were Ebizo Ichikawa, Takanori Iwata, Suzu Hirose, emma, Aya Omasa, Shion Kai, Haruna Kojima, Yura Koseki, Reo Sano, JO1, Maria Tani, Yojiro Noda, Takashi Murakami, Riisa Naka, Yoon and Verbal (Ambush), Nigo®, Verdy and the Tokyo Governor herself, Yuriko Koike.
Coronavirus prevention measures were followed with all visitors undergoing temperature checks and hand sanitizers being utilized. Guests were also requested to wear a mask and seating followed social distancing protocols.