Today, Louis Vuitton is a complete luxury lifestyle brand with offerings that include everything from clothing to fragrances to hammocks, but it’s most in-demand offerings are still the ones that made it famous in the first place: bags and luggage in that trademarked monogram leather that dates back to 1896. Classic bag silhouettes in the classic color pattern always remain in style and in stock, but today’s fashion landscape always demands something new, something exciting, and something sexy. So, over the past few decades, the brand’s creative directors and designers have remixed the classic pattern in various ways: Marc Jacobs found success with artist collaborations with the likes of Stephen Sprouse and Takashi Murakami (to name a few). On the men’s side, Kim Jones gave us street-wear-ready and travel-themed iterations, most notably with the infamous Supreme collaboration, during his stint. More recently, the artistic director of women’s collections Nicolas Ghesquière has experimented with everything from sci-fi-inspired touches to a kitty-cat-themed collaboration with Grace Coddington.
While the goods haven’t hit shelves worldwide just yet, the newly installed men’s wear director Virgil Abloh put his own imprint of the brand’s bags in his first collection, for spring/summer 2019. There was translucent vinyl, iridescent keep-alls, and bold neon-colored chains and hardware. Your grandmother’s Louis Vuitton this was not.
For his second show, he went one forward and gave us something we didn’t know we needed: a glow-in-the-dark Louis Vuitton bag.
Well, technically, it seems that the bags are actually lit up by a series of fiber-optic lights, and it’s already got the Internet buzzing.
Abloh’s show in Paris (with Frank Ocean and Timothée Chalamet in the front row) was staged on a set made to resemble the corner of New York City’s Rivington and Ludlow Streets, and, despite the neon-sign-tinged set, started out virtually without color, as a parade of models in gray and then black outfits marched out. But then the show’s purported Michael Jackson inspiration made itself apparent, with more color and clothing printed in an homage to the film The Wiz.
Fittingly, it was the glowing keep-alls that closed out the show, carried by a squad of otherwise black-wearing models (though their sneakers were always lit up). The Internet certainly took notice, with even Bella Hadid fawning over the bags on her Instagram Stories.
No word on when exactly the bags will hit the market (though, quite obviously, around fall seems like a good guess) or how much they’ll retail for, but it does seem safe to assume they’ll be a hit.
Indeed, Abloh’s magic seems to be working for Louis Vuitton. According to WWD, his first collection has already sold like hotcakes, and it’s only been available at a few, select pop-up locations. The Louis Vuitton chief executive officer Michael Burke told WWD that Abloh’s offerings at a Tokyo pop-up sold 30 percent faster than that Supreme collaboration (which was also available exclusively at pop-ups). He claimed that a lot of that was “pure, unadulterated desire” for those iridescent and translucent weekend bags, so we can only assume that the fiber-optic glow up (quite literally) of the bag for the fall/winter collection may trigger similar feelings, if not more so. Expect to see it being stunted about on some very exclusive Instagram accounts later this year.