In this world in which we so humbly take up residence, the year 2017 has brought us to a place where, on a global platform, we constantly explore how two can truly be better than one. Collaboration or collaborative have become words tossed about in conversation so naturally that not working together on a project seems almost selfish–how could one deprive the world’s inhabitants of products so clearly better because of their collaborative parts? Of course, some [collaborations] are better than others; it’s all about the moving parts. For this, the first installment of: “When Two Become One,” we explore the widely lauded and desperately expected release of Louis Vuitton’s collaboration with New York street wear underling-by-comparison, Supreme.
It’s been nearly 25 years since Supreme popped up on the New York scene in 1994, instantly solidifying its place in NYC skate culture. From staff to consumers, the Supreme crew was a cultural cross-section of cool kids and artists, skaters and hip-hoppers and an overall collection of counter culture aficionados. The audience, however, bore no weight on the product. Young and hip did not give way to under par execution—in fact, the brand was well respected for its quality and authenticity; and as such, has worked with many big named designers, artists, musicians and photographers. For its most recent collaboration, Supreme joins the ranks of some of the world’s biggest names in fashion and art to release a collection created in tandem with none other than French fashion and accessories house, Louis Vuitton. 140 years Supreme’s senior, Louis Vuitton embarks on this journey to create a conversation about a “multifaceted view of masculinity” that’s at the same time cool and uppity—uptown meets downtown.
The result: a whole new expression of elegance that’s easy in fit and relaxed in its essence. “Smart, but street-smart,” as described by Kim Jones, Louis Vuitton Men’s Artistic Director, who is responsible for the collaborative Autumn-Winter 2017 men’s collection. Jones, who insists that “no New York City men’s conversation is complete without Supreme,” has delivered a flawless new expression for Louis Vuitton, staying true to the message without sacrificing the quality that is LV: silks, cashmere, alligator and the whole lot of traditionally Louis Vuitton fabrications have been worked into looser tailoring, wide pants and even pajama styles to merge the two worlds in a way that feels very now while nodding decisively backward at the recent past–seventies, eighties and early nineties—which acted as a main reference with figure heads in mind that included Jean-Michel Basquiat, Julian Schnabel, Keith Haring, Robert Mapplethorpe and Andy Warhol, a group “whose creative strength and signatures allowed them the freedom to collaborate with one another to create new works, most famously Basquiat and Warhol. Both their creative approaches and their own wardrobes are references here, combined with the logo-heavy, denim-dominated Harlem style of Daniel “Dapper Dan” Day, Hip Hop’s outfitter of choice, and the louche seventies decadence of the denizens of Studio 54. These are visual touchstones for a New York state of dress.”
Since the collection was shown on runways, the fashion set has been clamoring for its in-store arrival. Expected to hit shelves in select stores this July, we anticipate that this collection will leave a similarly indelible mark in the stylebooks; forever representing how damn cool it is to come together.