During the summer of 2018, one thing became crystal clear: the future of high-fashion menswear would include a healthy dose of streetwear heritage. Three red-hot and wildly influential designers—Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton, Kim Jones at Dior, and Mathew Williams at Alyx—sent collections down the runway that felt bold, unique, and exciting. It is no accident that each of these designers cut their teeth within the world of streetwear before moving up into the big leagues. Fast forward two years later, and their street-inspired takeover of luxury fashion is still holding steady.
First, Louis Vuitton is finally gearing up to release a collection with the Japanese designer and record producer Nigo. Set to release next month, it will be Abloh’s first collaboration at the fashion house since being named artistic director of menswear over two years ago. Nigo, one of the pioneers of streetwear, is best known for founding the influential brands Bape and Human Made, as well as being a long-time creative collaborator of Pharrell’s. The collection is massive, containing everything from denim and suiting to printed wares and accessories. The “Louis Vuitton” logo is slapped on a grey crewneck sweatshirt and a black zip-up hoodie, an obvious nod to streetwear’s love of the screenprint. (It’s not every day you see the French fashion house’s named printed in ink on cotton.) But, tellingly, tailoring makes up a large portion of the drop—streetwear and suiting don’t have to be enemies. Overall, the collection feels symbolic: he’s been there for a little while, but Virgil’s new era of Louis Vuitton is just getting started.
Elsewhere, Matt Williams has teamed up with another streetwear OG in Stüssy. (Keep in mind, Jones and Dior also recently worked with the longstanding brand for a high-profile collaboration.) The Mathew M Williams x Stüssy collection will drop on May 29, and consists of both men’s and women’s denim as well as some graphic tees. “Dreams coming true,” the California-born designer posted on his Instagram account ahead of the release. This type of collaboration (a high-flash European label teaming up with a more affordable streetwear brand) means you can pick up Williams-designed clothes for a fraction of the cost of Alyx. It’s a win-win for everyone: a designer gets to cross his dream collaboration off his bucket list, and streetwear fans get well-designed clothes from a buzzy name at a lower price point.
Lastly, Jones and Dior have tapped Daniel Arsham, the high-concept minimalist beloved by hypebeasts and art collectors alike, to design a very…particular necklace. The necklace, which sells for $770, features a tiny baseball cap pendant (a hallmark of the 2000s era of streetwear) in a matte white finish accented by coarse pink crystal accents. This is just the latest collaborative item to release from the French label and American artist. The two have previously worked on everything from a reimagination of the brand’s iconic saddle bag to an artful leather suitcase.
All of these collaborations signify the direction that high-end European labels and other like-minded luxury brands are headed—and if it’s not directly at old-school streetwear, it’s toward a new kind of streetwear-inflected hybrid. If you’re going to wear a suit, you might as well wear one with Nigo’s fingerprints on it, right?