Virgil Abloh has just made businessmen the ultimate fashion inspiration, thanks to his latest for Louis Vuitton. Today, his Fall Winter ’21 collection—titled “Ebonics / Snake Oil / The Black Box / Mirror, Mirror”—was unveiled globally through a digital runway film on the brand’s YouTube channel.
The show opened with poet and rapper Saul Williams, who is seen walking through snow-covered hills against towering mountains in Switzerland. Williams’ ensemble—a brimmed hat, sharp-shouldered overcoat with airplane buttons, and a striped shirt and tie—harks back to the type of classic menswear we’re used to seeing in boardrooms, rather than the great outdoors. Clutched in his left hand is our prediction for the next hypebeast must-have: a mirrored, monogrammed trunk with a chunky chain, which distinctly references Marc Jacobs’ ‘Monogram Miroir’ bags from his Vuitton tenure during the mid-aughts .
The frame then switches to models in business attire as they skate in patterns on a glossy ice rink before viewers are taken into the Tennis Club de Paris. With its expansive, minimalist interior (mirrored walls, green marble, and cloudy lighting that’s reminiscent of lobbies we used to frequent in pre-COVID times), it’s a pure Wall Street fantasy. The men fill the space, dressed in an array of gray and black suiting with pops of red, yellow, and orange from outerwear, shoes and various bag accents. One wears a transparent monogrammed suit—which we’d just love to see in our morning meeting—and others don neon sneakers, cowboy hats, skirts, and a variety of plaids for their fictional commute. Throughout this display, Williams recites a dialogue filled with famous name references—Baldwin, Hathaway, Tesla, Plath—and urges viewer to “deconstruct the narrative.”
As the space empties and flute music begins to play, a gray suit-clad model who’s been lying on the floor slowly wakes up and begins dancing around others who are standing still, like statues. Thanks to their green and grey attire, it creates a gorgeous monochromatic effect. Once he picks up the mirrored briefcase from the floor and enters a walking grid of more Vuitton-clad figures, a performance by rapper Mos Def signals the show’s final act—i.e., the futuristic menswear that Abloh does best such as chunky knits, logo-covered outerwear, track jackets, and trenches. Two tops are notably covered in 3D structures; one is a sweater mimicking a row of NY skyscrapers, the other a jacket festooned with landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and Notre Dame Cathedral. Other standout pieces include a mirror-monogrammed sweater, marble-printed coat, and a sculptural monogrammed bag shaped like an airplane (which we’re already eyeing as our new travel bag).
As a whole, the collection was futuristic and utilitarian, with plenty of polish. The line’s reinterpreted formalwear was a refreshing side of the brand that we haven’t seen in awhile. Now that street style (and the flashy attire we’ve seen outside show venues for years) has effectively been put on hold, it seems Abloh is restructuring his aesthetic to appeal to multiple types of shoppers. After all, the collection’s thick sweaters and voluminous coats are perfect for anyone who is working from home but still making bold fashion statements for the fun of it. There’s still fashion escapism to be had from the more outlandish pieces too, affirming the director’s creative spirit and hinting that Abloh’s craft covers more than just streetwear.
See the full collection below: