The Louis Vuitton man has been upgraded to business class.
Virgil Abloh, the French fashion house’s creative director of menswear, just launched The New Formals collection, which puts a luxurious spin on traditional business accessories, including the typically stuffy briefcase. Revealed in a series of photographs lensed by Johan Sandberg, the lineup consists of seven silhouettes that will arrive in Louis Vuitton stores this spring.
For now, the key pieces include a logo-embossed mini Soft Trunk that can be worn crossbody. There’s also an all-black version of the Steamer PM satchel, also cut from embossed leather, that’s accented with the flat chain Abloh has quickly turned into a brand signature. Briefcases come in both monogram canvas and leather, some with more rigid structures and others with soft shapes that could easily tuck under your arm. If you travel frequently for business, a spacious business bag with roomy pockets at the front could make a good option for hauling your essentials while you’re pounding the pavement.
The business side of Louis Vuitton is always looking for new ways to expand its leather category, but the strategy behind this most recent launch is a bit more nuanced. At a recent preview of the brand’s wares, press representatives told Robb Report that the company is aware that many of its recent menswear customers have become clients due to Abloh’s high-end take on streetwear, sneakers and all. But the heritage label doesn’t want to limit the demographics scrambling to take something home in one of its famous brown shopping bags. As proof of its seriousness, the luxury giant recently hired Pierre-Emmanuel Angeloglou, formerly of L’Oreal, who started this month in what was termed a cross-entity role overseeing every men’s division. Growing leather goods is said to be one of his primary objectives, per a WWD report.
The aesthetic of the new campaign and the designs themselves feel distinctly grownup, which is purposeful. In a recent interview with Vogue about his fall 2020 collection, Abloh said he’d been thinking about the nature of work, “and what the metaphors are for that”—which is why his forthcoming lines offer a more extensive lineup of tailoring. That focus on elegant pieces built with longevity in mind may also help the brand retain its younger clients as they age and simultaneously draw in other men with more conservative taste.
Shop The New Formals collection yourself at Louis Vuitton boutiques worldwide and on the brand’s website.