From legal action to collaboration, why has streetwear become so desirable?
Last week saw the highly anticipated and hyped collaboration unveil at Paris Fashion Week, as growth of the streetwear industry continues to soar.
Louis Vuitton are no strangers to collaborations; the renowned luxury French luggage house were infamous for calling in the services of Takashi Murakami by Marc Jacobs to create a Multicolour monogram collection in 2003. Deconstructing the iconic LV all-over logo print, he reassembled it as a kawaii dream, using the vibrant colour palette and playful style that he’s known and loved for. The innovative collaboration resulted in the Parisian brand being revitalised. Interpreting Louis Vuitton in a different light, allowing the brand to become more relevant at a time when the global cohort of luxury goods consumers were swaying more towards the influence of youth culture.
So it is no surprise that history has repeated itself again, with Vuitton utilising the same strategy to cater for the luxury streetwear consumer — a consumer who indulges in brands such as OFF-WHITE, Vetements and Undercover. The FW collection entailed shearling motorcycle jackets, leather Perfectos, baggy trousers and many more. However the pieces that sparked onlooking guests came in the form of accessories. Fanny Packs, scarfs, pouches, trunks and a case in the form of a D.J turntable — most of it ornamented in the instantly recognisable Barbara Kruger inspired Supreme logo. It can be disputed that the collaboration from Louis Vuitton may have been ‘selling out’, as the luxury brand infamously took legal action against Supreme for imitating their iconic monogram on skateboard decks in 2000.
Kim Jones, who previously worked with streetwear wholesalers Gimme5 in London, must be taken into consideration when contemplating the birth of the concept. With the streetwear industry going past the value of $60 billion in 2011 (Reuters, 2016), there is no doubt other luxury houses will follow suit, taking inspiration from Louis Vuitton and Gucci with Gucci Ghost — to cater for the ever growing streetwear consumer and luxurian who is influenced by youth culture.
*Written by Kevin Arulrajah