Virgil Abloh has lifted the lid on a new Louis Vuitton x NBA capsule, revealing a Pre-Fall 2021 collection that plays heavily on 90s courtside hysteria and celebrity, reinterpreted through the scope of high fashion.
The two megabrands announced plans for a three-year collaborative partnership at the start of 2020, and have since delivered everything from a double-door wardrobe trunk with dual iconography, to a debut capsule of clothing, leather goods, shoes, and various other accessories. This new Pre-Fall 2021 capsule skews slightly different though, taking a hard-left turn off the court to mirror the wardrobe of a professional basketball player journeying through three different dress codes and situations – travel, game, and press conference.
This holistic approach to an NBA player’s lifestyle has resulted in three distinct tones and allowed for a wider range, encompassing everything from hoodies to suits. The mix of casual, athletic, and professional make the Louis Vuitton x NBA capsule one of the most varied cross-genre collaborations that we’ve seen in years, tied together by Virgil Abloh’s visionary design codes and a little assist from designer Don Crawley.
For the travel aspect of the Louis Vuitton x NBA capsule, Abloh presents various relaxed-cut pieces like a blouson and trouser emblazoned with a floral motif, and a hoodie heavy with the maison’s iconic monogram. The game line-up includes various informal shirts with multi-toned lettering cleverly referencing the typeface of a different NBA team for each letter; here, you’ll also find shorts covered with the brand’s varsity logo.
The press conference section of the capsule is the most interesting turn for the partnership yet, taking a much more formal approach with sharply tailored suits and overcoats echoing a larger need for professionalism. Even the graphic-embossed leather bomber is taken in a more sophisticated direction, while still retaining that sense of calmness that’s no doubt necessary for the world’s biggest NBA stars when they’re up there getting hounded by the press.
As far as accessories go, it seems Louis Vuitton have kept it simple while remixing NBA references into luxury leather goods. The first capsule from the partnership, which was released last year, featured a basketball-net detailing which has now been updated for the Pre-Fall 2021 collection. This is alongside new ball pouches and basketball carriers, as well as a black monogram-printed leather Keepall, logo-embossed slides, loafers, monogram ankle boots, and several other pieces. There’s even some new jewelry pieces, again focusing on the logo-centric design Abloh is known for.
Most interesting is Louis Vuitton’s first ever basketball, which is offered in this capsule as two sizes – a 29.5″ life-size edition, and a 5.11″ collectible edition.
The Pre-Fall 2021 Louis Vuitton x NBA Capsule will be available in stores worldwide on May 28th.