Whether by land, by sea, or by air, travel is Louis Vuitton’s heritage. Last season, Vuitton menswear designer Kim Jones traveled to distant lands like China and Japan for inspiration. This season, he focused on the sea.
It was not the literal nautical theme that that made Mr. Jones’ third collection for Louis Vuitton menswear sea-worthy. Rather, it was how he incorporated the popular street style of the sea–surf wear and the relaxed casual elegance of the Côte d’Azur–into a short sleeved ‘LV’ scuba tee, Bermuda shorts and a rubberized (rainproof) leather smock.
Mr. Jones used surf style to bridge the gap between the elite luxury consumer and those younger consumers–those more prone to adopting a more personalized street style–that Louis Vuitton seeks as customers. For every designer fashion houses, this is perhaps the most coveted type of customer to cater to.
Striking a balance between craftsmanship and sportswear isn’t an easy task. On the one hand, Mr. Jones showed sleek, dressy single breasted business suits worn with white leather loafers (the Damier briefcase in hand, of course). On the other hand, the scuba turtlenecks and short sleeved stretch tees could easily be a must-have item for spring and can be mixed into any man’s wardrobe.
As for the gear: The new large Damier Challenge rucksack or travelling backpack are made for short urban travel, weekend trips from the city. I imagine you’ll see them on the backs of hip New Yorkers on their bikes or in the subway–not on actual backpackers on a shoestring making their way through Europe.