Virgil Abloh's Louis Vuitton and the Future of High Fashion / by Didier Young

Throughout history, high fashion designers have always dictated the flow of the trends. From Gabrielle Chanel’s introduction of a minimalistic style for women, Hubert de Givenchy’s iconic little black dress and Yves Saint Laurent’s Smoking suit, fashion designers have shaped the trajectory of fashion and the way people dress. Blessed were the days when they were all driven by their creative force rather than the capitalist one. Unfortunately, most fashion houses suffer from increasing pressure to be profitable and as such they tend to follow trends rather than being at the forefront of fashion anymore.

Of course every season there’s a couple of pieces that stand out from the crowd: from Adidas’ Stan Smith being replicated by everyone from Givenchy to Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga setting the world on fire with their sock shoes. However, those seem to have become the exception to the rules. One of the major trends that has swooped the fashion world in recent years is streetwear and its influences can be felt everywhere. Balenciaga’s appointment of Demna Gvasalia as their creative director in October 2016 might have seemed like an odd fit at first but it was one that proved to be a commercial success for the brand. Other designer brands soon followed suit and the proliferation of 90s inspired clothing became widespread. Louis Vuitton is the latest brand to have created an unlikely partnership with OFF-WHITE’s Virgil Abloh and the designer’s first collection premiered a couple of weeks ago.

It should come to no surprise that the collection was well received. After all, Abloh’s style is on trend at the moment and he is well beloved by the fashion world. However with the introduction of this undeniably trendy era of the Louis Vuitton house, is it still worth purchasing from the brand’s catalogue? I come from a generation that likes a more subdued version of luxury, where we purchased designer products based on their longevity and quality. I still recall my very first luxury purchase (an Alexander McQueen scarf that I do not wear anymore but it has since been framed and it is hanging in my room). It seems that nowadays, High fashion has simply become a very expensive version of fast fashion where you have to keep purchasing the newest cool piece to remain relevant. There seems to no longer be any sustainability or longevity in the purchase of a designer piece and I do find that somewhat sad.

However I am from an older school of thought. I definitely did not have the same amount of disposable income as most teenagers seem to have these days so perhaps that this is simply the future of fashion. What do you guys think?

-Didier