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Why Virgil Abloh’s Latest Louis Vuitton Collection Will Have You on Cloud Nine

For his Louis Vuitton fall ’20 collection, Virgil Abloh took us for a walk in the clouds. But the collection, presented today at Paris Fashion Week Men’s, was grounded by some very down-to-earth ideas about footwear.

It is said that we are at a crossroads between the ever-popular sneaker and a return to a more formal style of shoe. But here’s the thing. Rather than dissecting it and trying to decide what’s in, shouldn’t we just celebrate our luxury of choice?

louis vuitton, fall 2020, mens, paris fashion week, A model presents a creation from the Fall/Winter 2020/2021 men's collection by US designer Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton fashion house during the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris, France, 16 January 2020. The presentation of the men's collections runs from 14 to 19 January.Louis Vuitton - Runway - Paris Men's Fashion Week F/W 2020/21, France - 16 Jan 2020A model presents a creation from the Fall/ Winter 2020/2021 men's collection by US designer Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton fashion house during the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris, France, 16 January 2020. The presentation of the men's collections runs from 14 to 19 January.Louis Vuitton - Runway - Paris Men's Fashion Week F/W 2020/21, France - 16 Jan 2020
A model on the runway at Louis Vuitton’s fall ’20 show during Paris Fashion Week Men’s.
CREDIT: CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON/Shutterstock

That was certainly Abloh’s take. He gave us options: Derbies, smart Chelsea boots and mid-high-top sneakers featuring a new comet logo. He will also debut a partnership with the NBA on Jan. 22 during Paris Couture Week.

But Abloh being Abloh, he also mixed it up. In a nod to streetwear and the mid-layers for which he is known, he encased his Derbies in harnesses, rendering them utility vests for the feet.

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louis vuitton, fall 2020, mens, paris fashion week, A model presents a creation from the Fall/Winter 2020/2021 men's collection by US designer Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton fashion house during the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris, France, 16 January 2020. The presentation of the men's collections runs from 14 to 19 January.Louis Vuitton - Runway - Paris Men's Fashion Week F/W 2020/21, France - 16 Jan 2020
A model on the runway at Louis Vuitton’s fall ’20 show during Paris Fashion Week Men’s.
CREDIT: CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON/Shutterstock

The harnesslike wraps came both in leather and tactile shearling, which recalled the cloudscape backdrop to his tented Paris show venue in the city’s Jardin des Tuilleries.

louis vuitton, fall 2020, mens, paris fashion week, A model presents a creation from the Fall/Winter 2020/2021 men's collection by US designer Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton fashion house during the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris, France, 16 January 2020. The presentation of the men's collections runs from 14 to 19 January.Louis Vuitton - Runway - Paris Men's Fashion Week F/W 2020/21, France - 16 Jan 2020A model presents a creation from the Fall/ Winter 2020/2021 men's collection by US designer Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton fashion house during the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris, France, 16 January 2020. The presentation of the men's collections runs from 14 to 19 January.Louis Vuitton - Runway - Paris Men's Fashion Week F/W 2020/21, France - 16 Jan 2020A model presents a creation from the Fall/Winter 2020/2021 men's collection by US designer Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton fashion house during the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris, France, 16 January 2020. The presentation of the men's collections runs from 14 to 19 January.Louis Vuitton - Runway - Paris Men's Fashion Week F/W 2020/21, France - 16 Jan 2020
A model on the runway at Louis Vuitton’s fall ’20 show during Paris Fashion Week Men’s.
CREDIT: CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON/Shutterstock

As he said in his show notes, “ties are formed between sneakers and the traditional codes of formal shoes.”

Abloh also explored this notion in the Off-White collection he presented Wednesday, where he showed mismatched pairings, a sneaker on the left foot with a more formal laceup on the right.

off-white, mens, runway, pfw, A model presents a creation from the Fall/ Winter 2020/2021 Ready to Wear collection by US designer Virgil Abloh for Off-White during the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris, France, 15 January 2020. The presentation of the men's collections runs from 14 to 19 January.Off White - Runway - Paris Men's Fashion Week F/W 2020/21, France - 15 Jan 2020A model presents a creation for Off White Men's Fall/Winter 2019-2020 fashion collection presented in ParisFashion Off White, Paris, France - 15 Jan 2020
A look from the Off-White fall ’20 men’s show.
CREDIT: Thibault Camus/Shutterstock

Yes, gentlemen, you can have your cake and eat it, too: The sneaker is still a thing, and the formal shoe is well and truly in the mix. That’s news that should have everyone on cloud nine.

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