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Louis Vuitton PreFall 2023 Paris cover

Louis Vuitton Pre-Fall 2023 Menswear Collection

A year after Virgil Abloh’s passing, no menswear artistic director has been announced to replace him. But if the appointment is in a holding pattern, Louis Vuitton is a brand in motion. That’s the message this collection seems designed to convey with its theme of the desert race. In a bit of cross-LVMH synergy, Dior Men was in Egypt over the weekend. Here, the idea of the desert was conveyed with a sand-filled set that by the end transformed into a blooming oasis.

The slideshow opens with a motocross jacket, the Vuitton name split by a front-zip between the Ts; sport shorts; and what look like over-the-knee compression socks. The outfit is a literal nod to a racing uniform, with the kind of playful logo manipulation that Abloh made one of his signatures. The collection quickly moves beyond motorsport references, spanning categories from sharp tailoring to casual travel wear, but it definitely leans into reinterpretations of the iconic brand name.

On denim separates the monogram looks seared into the fabric as if by the “scorching desert sun.” Elsewhere, it’s embossed on suede, printed on silk-blend shorts and shirts, and woven into jacquard knitwear layers. The most charming development is the introduction of speaker man, a cartoon reimagining of the models who carried massive speakers strapped to their backs in the spring 2023 show in June. It’s a sweet tribute to Abloh’s DJ bona fides.

Where does the Louis Vuitton men’s collection go from here? The race is a potent metaphor, suggestive as it is of competition and rivals and of going around in circles. The driver’s seat has been open for long enough here that the industry’s attention has turned elsewhere, but with another menswear runway season just weeks away in January, could an announcement be imminent? We’ll be watching.

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  1. Killian smith

    Slants

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