A Look at Virgil Abloh’s First Louis Vuitton Men’s Campaign

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Virgil Abloh continues to take Louis Vuitton in new directions with the recently released multimedia ad campaign for his Spring/Summer 2019 men’s collection. As a whole, the campaign, which will be released in three phases between now and March, explores ideas of individual evolvement, perception, and inclusivity. For each phase, Abloh collaborated with different artists to bring into focus various aspects of the ideology behind collection, like what it means to become a man and how to foster a diversity and unity.

Infancy, Childhood and Adolescence, the first to be released, walks through those three developmental phases of becoming a man. Lensed by Inez and Vinoodh, it captures the spirit of boyhood and how the Louis Vuitton man fits in the modern landscape. By highlighting pieces from the Spring/Summer 2019 collection modeled on boys ranging from 2 years old to teenagers, the campaign creates a coming-of-age story that begins with kids who represent “the purity of infancy, still unaffected by preordained perceptions of gender, color and creed.“

The imagery of Infancy, Childhood, and Adolescence serves a dual purpose of showing environments in which boys and teenagers would be found, and also complementing the Wizard of Oz motifs used throughout the collection. In one image, a young boy is pictured wearing a sweater with the silhouettes of Dorothy and her crew, standing against a landscape background basking in the light of a rainbow, which harkens back to the song „Somewhere Over the Rainbow.“

The second phase, titled The Painter’s Studio, will be released on February 1st, and reimagines the oil painting of the same title by artist Gustave Courbet. Instead of the artist at his canvas in the center of the composition, the campaign’s tableau photographed by Mohamed Bourouissa places Abloh kneeling before a model and adjusting his design. In the 19th century artwork, the artist is the line between all levels of French society on his left and members of high society on his right. No such delineations exist in Abloh’s world, where he is surrounded on all sides by members of the Louis Vuitton team, friends, and models all wearing the collection. For his modern iteration, Abloh paints an inclusive picture celebrating diversity and unity.

To be released at the end of March, the last phase of the campaign returns to ideas concerning personal growth and becoming a man. Created by Raimond Wouda, School Teens captures groups of students wearing colored Louis Vuitton t-shirts. The pictures convey the forces at work within and among teenagers, in which there’s a desire to belong while simultaneously wanting one’s own individuality to shine. It represents the reality of the Los Angeles students it depicts and any other adolescent community, where “this age-particular tension between uniformity and diversity paves the way for a man’s future understanding of his own identity, wardrobe and what that means.”

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createdAt:Tue, 22 Jan 2019 16:49:33 +0000
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