Louis Vuitton appointed Virgil Abloh, 38, to the top spot of its menswear division to cater to the burgeoning — and very valuable — global demand for street-inspired wares, and the DJ-slash-master collaborator-slash-former Kanye West creative is doing just that. While Abloh’s full Wizard of Oz-themed collection, itself, is not slated to hit stores until this weekend, the 185-year old luxury brand has been quietly testing the waters (following the logistical nightmare that was the Supreme x Louis Vuitton launch) with a handful of pop-up shops across the globe. So far, at least one of those temporary outposts is boasting record-breaking numbers.
According to figures cited by Women's Wear Daily, Abloh’s first Louis Vuitton designs, from his June 2018 debut collection, are selling fast. At Louis Vuitton's pop-up shop in Tokyo, in particular, the brand brought in 30 percent more in revenue in the first 48 hours than its release of the heavily-hyped collaboration with Supreme last year (the latter of which drew an estimated 7,500 consumers in Tokyo, alone), says Louis Vuitton chief executive officer Michael Burke.
Speaking of the success of this month’s Harajuku pop-up, Burke said that there is “pure unadulterated desire” at play here and cited a “particularly strong demand for tailored ready-to-wear, mini trunks in white leather and transparent and iridescent weekend bags.” No small number of these products have started populating streetwear consignment sites, such as StockX, in recent weeks, at a striking markup. Resale price tags range from $1,200 for a small small pouchette (that product retailed for a mere $495) to a $7,000 for an iridescent Keepall 50B duffle bag, which has an initial retail price tag of $3,850.
Burke did not elaborate on how Abloh’s debut collection has fared at any of the other pop-up locations.
The pop-up in Tokyo follows from similar events in Shanghai and London in October, and New York this month.
Louis Vuitton made headlines last year when it teamed up with New York-based streetwear brand Supreme for a highly unanticipated collaboration, complete with pricey printed t-shirts, red leather duffle bags, and fanny packs, all bearing the famous Supreme box logo graphic. Under the watch of former menswear director Kim Jones (who has since jumped to fellow LVMH-owned brand Dior), the “new products arising from” the collab sold well, ultimately serving, according to the LVMH's end of the year fiscal report, as a “highlight” of the year both from a media-earned perspective and a sales one.