The fashion industry witnessed a game-changing episode when Men’s Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton, Virgil Abloh, joined hands with sensational K-pop boy band BTS to unveil a spin-off of his much anticipated Louis Vuitton Fashion Show 2021.
After calling them global ambassadors for the luxury brand last year, the designer strategically teamed up with the boy band for a fashion film. This move marked a one-of-a-kind milestone in the fashion world, as it urged people worldwide to change their perceptions of male beauty.
The fashion film, directed by Jeon Go-Woon, a renowned Korean filmmaker, featured each of the BTS members wearing an outfit from the designer’s spin-off collection. The music in the feature film, unveiled in January, was composed and produced by Kim Kate, CIFIKA, and NET GALA. The spin-off show mirrored The Voyage format introduced by the designer in 2020.
Reminiscent of its predecessor, this Fall/Winter 2021 collection was an ode to travel. This is evident from the inclusion of airplane buttons on coats, as well as oversized travel bags. The Louis Vuitton Fashion Show 2021 showcased a total of 41 looks, out of which 34 were brand new.
Below is a bigger picture of how BTS’ style, passion, charisma, and voice is transforming the outlook on men's standard clothing in recent times.
For the uninitiated, BTS has gained widespread popularity for hitting socially conscious nerves. Each band member - Park Jimin, V, J-hope, RM, Jungkook, Suga, and Jin, exude their own personal style. The band topped the Billboard Hot 100 Charts over three times in 2020. The band has also been recognized at the American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards and MTV Video Music Awards. The wardrobe of the band members painstakingly covers practically all colors that are typically believed to be feminine. BTS was appointed House Ambassadors for Louis Vuitton, and have ever since packed their wardrobes with monogrammed pieces.
The Men’s Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton, Virgil Abloh, surprised global audiences by releasing his spin-off fashion film that was dedicated to his fall/winter 2021 menswear collection. The motive behind the collection was to challenge preconceived notions and reimagine established codes. On an interesting note, the fashion film ranks as the first big project for the brand. Revolving around a never-before-seen look curated by Abloh, the new Louis Vuitton Fashion Show navigated an industrial space brimming with an illuminated indoor skyscraper, stunning Vuitton-clad models, as well as a seemingly boundless maze of staircases.
Dressed in wide pants, oversized t-shirts, skirts, and beanies, the boy band’s style is all about being comfortable and chic. Strutting smoldering looks across the Bucheon's Art Bunker B39, the band walked alongside other models, namely the famed Han Hyun Min, a Nigerian-Korean model and actor. Apart from employing common threads like bold colors, and over-the-top outerwear, the show displayed plenty of Louis Vuitton’s signature monograms.
BTS liberally used creams, toners, lip colors, pore fresheners, moisturizers, serums, shampoos, and masks to draw attention to the need for a luxurious self-care routine among men. Fans swooned over the look and feel of the video, and it generated buzz online about whether men should conform to set beauty standards. Others felt the band was too ‘girly’. Whatever the opinion, no one could deny the fact that the band was challenging stereotypes through fashion and music.
In fact, Kim Nam-Joon, or RM, as he is better known as, had said in 2018, “No matter who you are, where you are from, your skin color, your gender identity, just speak yourself.” And that’s exactly what the Louis Vuitton Fashion Show 2021 is all about.
Abloh aptly called the collection “The Voyage,” as it comes on the heels of traditional fashion seasons. The team-up with BTS has been tremendous in showcasing values such as inclusivity, diversity, and unity.
Throughout the Louis Vuitton Fashion Show 2021, Virgil Abloh used fashion as a tool to break stereotypes. Unfortunately, not everyone liked this. Preconceived notions and gender stereotypes are very hard to break free from. The spin-off has explored these unconscious biases perpetuated within the human psyche.
In a nutshell, the collaboration between BTS and Virgil Abloh at the Louis Vuitton Fashion Show 2021 was emotional, especially as the boy band used music to highlight so many crucial social issues. The septet has vividly portrayed male strength and vulnerability at the Fall/Winter 2021 collection. What could they have in store for the future? Time will tell.