Relatability: the lionisation of accessible or familiar imagery in luxury, employed to invite a sense of inclusivity.
As part of the Spring-Summer 2021 Precollection, Louis Vuitton launches LVxNBA, the first menswear capsule collection in a three-year partnership with the National Basketball Association under the artistic direction of Virgil Abloh. In January 2020, Louis Vuitton revealed the official Trophy Travel case.
for the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy historically passed down between winners of the NBA Finals. Motivated by the exchange between French craftmanship and American sports, Virgil Abloh created a limited clothing and accessories line uniting the emblems of the two institutions. The collection adapts the designer’s codes with the iconography of the basketball universe, and honours the values of relatability and inclusion key to Virgil Abloh’s vision at Louis Vuitton.
Based on the idea of a player’s wardrobe, the collection captures three main dress codes: travels and transits are embodied in a grey cashmere tracksuit adorned with graphics informed by the lines of a basketball; game arrivals manifest in a blue hooded leather jacket, Monogram jeans and t-shirts; and the press conference dress code is expressed in suits and a dress shirt. Centred around the NBA logo, key to the basketball institution, the visual identity of NBA assimilates into existing Louis Vuitton motifs. Here, the NBA logo is employed in an infinite houndstooth pattern used in tailoring, shirting and a tie. The NBA logo appears on a varsity jacket featuring the LV initials on the back.
Multi-functional bags draw on the red, blue and white colours
of the NBA logo. The collection sees the debut of a multi-pocket backpack in the classic Monogram with white contrast straps
as a nod to the graphics associated with the game. Next to
a Christopher backpack and Nil messenger likewise interpreted through the NBA lens, a Keepall features a netted side detail evocative of a basketball hoop. Shoes meld the insignia
of Louis Vuitton and NBA in classic loafers, chunky-soled leather derbies, slip-ons, and in lace-up leather boots fused with components from existing sneakers; each recognisable by the new LVxNBA emblem embossed on the foot-bed. Fashion jewellery employs the NBA logos as pendants in an ongoing conversation between sports and craftmanship.
“Fashion muses aren’t predictable. Ideas of luxury can be found in the sports world and its champions as much as in traditional forms of artistry. This collection celebrates the cultural contribution of basketball and its diverse characters, and the idea of relatability as a force of unity today,” comments Virgil Abloh, Men’s Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton.
Press release from NBA Philippines