Anything with Virgil Abloh’s name attached will sell, despite how strange its design may be. Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer 2021 collection is hard evidence of this, debuting styles like inflatable jackets and jelly sneakers — all designed by Abloh, who’s been the brand’s artistic director of menswear since 2018. The offerings are weird for sure, but we don't know if we hate their transparency or love their 2000s vibes.
As a country that’s been through a lot in the past year (understatement), people are looking forward to more transparency. Somehow, though, that message was relayed to the fashion world, and they took it literally. Nike’s 2006 Clot x Nike Air Max 1 “Kiss of Death” sneaker, now scheduled for re-release, is best known for its transparent toe box and translucent outsole. Dwyane Wade's newest Li-Ning sneaker, on the other foot, rips off several of the Swoosh’s designs, and includes a translucent upper. Should we be expecting a future of see-through sneakers?
Make it clear — First off, Abloh is having us accessorize with two different inflatable outerwear pieces, which we can’t imagine provide any warmth. Arriving in blouson and gilet styles crafted from polyvinyl chloride, the apparel can be inflated as desired — no word on whether they come with a separate mouthpiece or blow up mattress-type technology.
LV’s Monogram Canvas Blouson comes covered in the fashion house’s signature monogram print, sporting a lilac-hued translucent design. A matching vest comes dressed in icy blue, while another arrives in LV’s classic brown monogram print with transparent PVC pockets attached.
Despite being made out of plastic, and not Louis Vuitton’s usual long-lasting leather, the statement pieces are still priced at regular luxury prices. The vest retails for $3,400, while the jacket is going for $3,950. If you’re inclined to buy, you can purchase on Louis Vuitton’s website — just make sure to stay away from sharp objects when wearing.
Don’t be jelly — To complement his transparent outerwear, Abloh also created a translucent sneaker, which looks like the streetwear version of a jelly shoe. We’re already grimacing just imagining the sweaty feeling of wearing these — not including the squeaking sound that'll likely accompany you when walking.
Regardless, the new Louis Vuitton Trainer Sneaker Boot is pretty eye-catching. Its fully transparent upper and tongue sport iridescent hues and are decorated with LV branding, with monogram labels throughout and a “Louis Vuitton” signature on the lateral. The brand’s signature B Blossom motif can also be seen embossed on the midsoles, while a thick Velcro strap provides fastening around the ankle and reads “Advanced Tech System."
Abloh’s futuristic shoes also come in less see-through models, with a blue and purple iteration and white and tan version accompanying the transparent sneaker’s drop. Unfortunately, all the shoes — even the experimental ones — have sold out, but we’re keeping an eye online to see when they restock. At $11,500 HKD to $12,100 HKD (approximately $1,483 USD to $1,560 USD), these shoes might be breaking records for the most expensive jelly shoe ever sold, and that cost doesn’t include international shipping. As the “out of stock” label reminds us, however, anything Abloh makes is a guaranteed money-maker and trendsetter, so it’s only a matter of time before we’re all squeaking around in our jelly sneakers.