This week nss had the exclusive chance to visit the Louis Vuitton offices to get a closer, first hand, look at the new SS19 collections designed by Virgil Abloh for the men's and Nicolas Ghesquière for women. Virgil’s debut for LV has without a doubt been the most hyped of the fashion year, and it was exciting to finally get a chance to see and feel the pieces up close. We add an emphasis on feel because what very often sets the true luxury brands apart from the simply well-designed brands, is the craftsmanship that lies behind, and there Louis Vuitton proves its true mastery of the fashion craft. 

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It was one of the first cold days in Milan when we ventured to the Louis Vuitton Milan office to both physically and artistically come into the warmth. After the entrance where we were met by a stacked pyramid of seven pieces of LV’s signature luggage, which any world traveler would envy, we walked into the first pieces of Nicolas Ghesquière women collection. The colorful collection had two particular standouts in the form of a pair of jackets whos cut and lines were extremely well and cleanly executed. The predominantly black and opposing jacket in white had gone through an elaborate fabric treatment which made the final look and feel to almost resemble leather while providing water resistants. Ghesquière also presented a new edition of the Archlight sneaker design with a speckled colorful explosion making it the wildest iteration yet. 

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Then it was time for Virgil, and though it wasn’t the whole range we definitely got a very good feel for the collection. The room had been loosely divided into three sections, with one side showcasing the monochromic light colored pieces in white, beige, and pale green and the more colorful and iridescent pieces along the other, with the accessories in the middle.

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The first to catch the eye was the centrally positioned Holographic Bag, we’ve been very curious to see how this piece would manifest itself in real life after the PFW presentation, and it didn’t disappoint. With a shiny outer worldly glow that really needs to be experienced to be fully taken in, the piece will be one of the most coveted of the collection, and also its contrasting leather bag in all black with finely embossed LV pattern will be a must-have for those who can. After surveying the smaller accessories of sunglasses, belts, handbags, and wallets, we arrived at the next stand out piece the white leather utility vest with multiple LV pattern embossed compartments. The craftsmanship is really quite amazing, with attention given to every detail, this vest will for many streetwear inclined be the collections definitive piece. 

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Hanging close we had to pause one more when arriving at the fleece jacket, here again, is what sets LV apart when something seemingly simple as a cozy fleece can in the right hands become elevated to art, and the fleece with its embossed details on shoulders and pocket is very well executed. We then came to the colorful side, and once passing the Oz-inspired patterns and throwback shoe designs, we arrived at another stand out piece. A deep red jacket with zippers running both vertically and horizontal to give its opening possibilities almost a techwear feel. Again it was the details, the robust quality of the zippers together with the panel cuts made the piece just feel right, like a sculptor that finds the true sculpture within the material and knows when to stop adding or subtracting, knows when the piece reaches its perfect state.

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After the storm of all the hype has settled down a bit after the PFW presentation it was very nice to soberly experience the Virgil Abloh Louis Vuitton collection for what it is. Sure, there are gimmicky moments and pieces that feel like they could have accomplished more, but the highlights really are rather high and as we predicted some of the vests and bags are simply great pieces of fashion design and craft, which will ensure an incredible year for Louis Vuitton ahead. 

Exact details as to when and which pieces will be available where are still cloudy due to the incredible demand already being experienced before the collection is even out, but stay locked to nss to get the details as they come in.

Check out some of the extra close-up videos we took below:

 All photos and videos were taken by nss staff, and not LV official