Paris Men’s Fashion Week

PARIS — Louis Vuitton recreated a nocturnal New York cityscape to present designer Virgil Abloh’s latest Michael Jackson-inspired collection in Paris on Thursday.
Parent group LVMH spared no expense to promote the brand at a time when menswear is on the up, constructing a set complete with steam rising from manholes. Celebrities including Naomi Campbell looked on, sat on doorsteps.
It is betting on Abloh — a friend of singer Kanye West and DJ-turned-designer who helped made hoodies a luxury staple — to broaden Vuitton’s reach with male shoppers, as it pushes menswear at its Christian Dior, Celine and Givenchy labels too.
The collection featured nods to the late King of Pop, though aside from the sparkling gloves and wide-brimmed fedora hats that were among Michael Jackson’s trademarks, most looks were more subtle, in a range with heavy doses of beige and grey.
They included coats with a military cut, for instance, or leather jackets in a bold red often favored by Jackson, who was described in show notes as “lightyears ahead of his time” in the way he carved out his style and identity.
With a hoodie or two in sight, sharp tailoring with layered suits also featured heavily in Abloh’s second outing, confounding expectations he would rely too heavily on the urban style he became known for with his Off-White brand.
Luxury groups are experiencing a boom in menswear sales, traditionally a smaller sideline, thanks to a streetwear trend reflected in the success of items like pricey sneakers.
But while this has attracted new clients, brands are also increasingly wary of cutting themselves off from a potentially larger crowd, and of “streetwear fatigue” setting in.
Intricately structured suits came with wraparound satin sashes, and animal prints adorned jackets and clutch bags at Christian Dior’s menswear collection in Paris on Friday, worn by models gliding down a giant conveyor belt.
Dior’s men’s designer Kim Jones previously made his mark with a streetwear style that boosted sales. In his second outing for Dior, however, sleek looks dominated a collection that played with textures, combining luxurious leather with furry black and white tiger prints and rich cashmere drapings.
Actors Noomi Rapace and Robert Pattinson and singer Lily Allen were among guests at the show where some suits came with a combat twist, overlaid with backpack-style accessories that resembled flak jackets.
Luxury labels make some of their biggest margins on items such as handbags or belts, and Dior has been pushing these in its men’s ranges too. — Reuters