In spite of the global pandemic, Louis Vuitton has decided not to totally eschew in-person shows. To showcase its newest menswear collection designed by Virgil Abloh, the French fashion house plans to hold a series of in-person events around the world that will unfold in a seasonless format.
The house announced its new format on Thursday, and on Friday, released a short film featuring a mixture of live action and animated characters, which are depicted packing up a Louis Vuitton shipping crate in Paris that gets loaded onto a barge and floats down the Seine.
"On 6 August 2020, after crossing the oceans, the shipment arrives in Shanghai and the Louis Vuitton Spring-Summer 2021 Men's Runway Show unfolds," a press release from the brand said.
The idea is that, since people can't travel to Paris to watch the runway show, the runway show will come to them. The clothes will ship to Shanghai from Paris, where Louis Vuitton's Chinese team will collaborate find the venue, co-design the event with Abloh and choose a roster of all Chinese models.
"I think fashion shows have to remain live. There has to be an audience. There has to be anticipation, there has to be tension, there has to be last-minute desperation. If you don't have that, it's like some of these football games that are being played with no audience — they have to pipe in the noise," Michael Burke, chairman and chief executive officer of Louis Vuitton, told WWD.
Abloh noted that the new format will allow for collections to build on one another in a whole new way. The new collection will feature 30 brand-new looks looks made from new material, 25 looks made from recycled materials, and 25 looks from the most recent collection.
"My shows will now travel the world, the beginning and ends of season won't be on the invite," Abloh said to WWD. "It's one continuous flow that has a little bit of new and some things you've seen before. And philosophically, when it comes to the sustainability idea, I'm starting to collapse all the seasons into one."
View Louis Vuitton's "The Adventures of Zoooom with Friends" short film, released ahead of the August 6 show, here.