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

Stephanie Hirschmiller

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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?

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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.

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.

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.

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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