February 23, 2021
French fashion brand Louis Vuitton is celebrating multiculturalism and self-expression in a new campaign for its men’s spring/summer 2021 collection.
Louis Vuitton men’s artistic director Virgil Abloh has unveiled a new installment for the “Message in a Bottle” series, highlighting the new collection. The short film features models dancing and traversing through a brightly-colored set complete with balloons, New York City taxicabs, props and puppets in a setting where child-like imagination meets high fashion.
“I think that there is something whimsical and light-hearted in this campaign which has bold prints, pops of color, fun music that gets you energized and the inclusion of diverse people,” said Kimmie Smith, cofounder and creative director of Athleisure Mag, New York. “It’s yet another way to showcase how such an iconic brand can continue to appeal to a number of demographics that can draw in those who are already consumers, as well as those who may not have yet embraced the brand – but can do so because they are seeing it in a new way that they may not have previously perceived.
“It’s vital to continue to show how a brand can really speak to people and it also gives insight into Virgil Abloh as well,” she said.
Your very own world
A 63-second film opens with three models emerging from cutouts of three yellow taxicabs, walking on a colorful set that seems to illustrate a cartoon version of New York’s iconic 42nd street.
Additional models emerge to showcase Louis Vuitton spring/summer 2021 pieces, strutting and playing with balloons as Yves Tumor’s “Gospel For A New Century” plays in the background.
A world full of pops of color, upbeat music and puppets showcase the Louis Vuitton menswear spring/summer 2021 line.
As models dance among disparate props and cartoon New York City streets, the Louis Vuitton products are presented in a beaming, energetic invitation. Balloons, puppets and cartoon mailboxes surround models, immersed in a world that radiates fun.
With this film, Louis Vuitton is welcoming consumers to embrace their inner child and play on this high-fashion playground. The film highlights the diversity of the people, places and fashion of New York and the brand as a whole.
The short film also aims to symbolize the freedom of expression that the products offer consumers.
The vignette highlights the intersection of diversity and unity by having models come together to dance in unison, yet embrace their individuality with their fashion.
Some of the line’s products modeled in the film include the LV Shape reversible taurillon puppets belt, LV Friends scarf, distorted damier crewneck, LV Ollie sneaker and more.
Mr. Abloh teased this cartoon style last year, replacing the traditional show with gradual digital reveals of the collection through the rest of the year.The story of the new collection was disclosed in an animated film called “The Adventures of Zoooom with Friends” in which characters arrived in Paris during Fashion Week (see story).
The campaign was photographed by Tim Walker, a return collaborator for Louis Vuitton.
The film ends with the music stopping and a model walking away out of shot, leaving viewers to hear the distinctive sounds and sirens of a busy city.
Luxury brands are continuing to find innovative and energetic methods in storytelling. From settings filled with pops of color, use of technology and young ambassadors, brands are willing to try it all.
Whether through a short film or brand ambassador, brands continue to prioritize individuality and diversity.
French fashion house Hermès brought a playful and artistic spirit to its silk scarf campaign in 2019. Its iconic accessory was refreshed with a new series of prints, and the “Not So Square” short film showed how Hermès celebrates individuals' self-expression without being overly traditional (see story).
Louis Vuitton has recruited tennis champion Naomi Osaka as its latest house ambassador in another youthful push. Ms. Osaka, a three-time Grand Slam champion, will make her debut for the label in the spring/summer 2021 campaign by Nicolas Ghesquiere, creative director for women’s collections (see story).
“I think that in a time where there is an encouragement to embrace representation, it becomes an indication that the brand is aware that this is not a movement, but a state of being that everyone should continue to include within their storytelling,” Ms. Smith said.