The Met Gala is one of the biggest events on the fashion calendar, giving designers a place to not only showcase jaw-dropping works of art but also to debut new pieces. Within the flurry of fashion paradise, Virgil Abloh debuted one of his first pieces for Louis Vuitton. Although the founder of the label Off-White has yet to have his inaugural runway show for the luxury brand (it is set for June), he utilized the Met Gala to premiere the new path Louis Vuitton will see.
Perhaps the most telling aspect of Abloh’s future is the image he and his date struck. The designer wore an all-white suit with embroidery detail of a church’s stained glass from what will be the designer’s first Louis Vuitton Runway. Alongside the suit that will be seen in the designer’s runway this June, Abloh was one of the few men on the runway wearing a pair of sneakers. The made Off-White x Air Jordan 1s had Abloh’s signature graphic print and deconstruction. His Met Gala choice defines the designer’s interest in mixing low- and high-culture while the suit details Abloh’s ability to transcend the world of t-shirts and hoodies into luxury. The sneakers show that just because a piece is haute doesn’t mean it can’t be street.
Beside the designer was no other than this date, Kendall Jenner. As a pinnacle of youth culture, the model wore an all white Off-White jumpsuit alongside a pair of Jimmy Choo x Off-White heels. Although the two were dressed in Abloh’s differing brands, both pieces were conceptualized by a shared interest in streetwear overtaking high-fashion—as well as detailing Abloh’s dedication to his future at Louis Vuitton and his past at Off-White. The symbolism of placing himself in LV and Kendall in Off-White captures a piece of Abloh’s ideology going forward with both brands. He told the New York Times, “Off-White is for the seventeen-year-old version of myself, whereas Louis Vuitton is for the thirty-seventy-year old me.” The teenage skater vibe of Off-White will stay with the brand, and Louis Vuitton will maintain its refined, tailored look but something more ‘cool’ is definitely on its way.
Louis Vuitton’s appointment of Abloh showcases the brand’s desire to change. The days of luxury brands being remote and inaccessible are over; now is the time for the approachable, street-friendly clothing that millennials and Generation Z are interested in. After working as Kanye West’s creative director and founding one of the largest, most influential streetwear brands in 2013, Abloh has long had his finger on the pulse of all things cool. The Met Gala granted us a glimpse at what the interbreeding of street and luxury-wear will bring and there’s no doubt our eyes are hungry for more.