You don’t have to be in touch with the fashion world to know one of the top brand’s in fashion, Louis Vuitton. Theirs is the kind of reputation and recognition that comes from years of staying in tune with what’s in style, and constantly striving to discover or create the next new trend.
As a brand they have been forerunners in the fashion industry for over a century, deciding what’s hot and what’s not from season to season, building a trust and a history of excellence with consumers and fashion curious people alike.
Their next big thing just dropped and it’s a good-looking step off the beaten path for them; a collaboration with pro skater Lucien Clarke producing “A View”: designer skate shoes. A first in the 166 years of the company, these kicks are a fresh new take on a streetwear classic, now more practical and stylish than ever.
About Louis Vuitton
Let’s look at how the brand found the limelight we see them in today, starting with the man himself – Louis Vuitton Malletier – who founded the French luxury goods company in 1854. His unique eye for finding a new twist to a classic staple led him to design a flat-topped carrying trunk that differed from it’s round-topped relatives by being able to stack on top of one another easily for traveling convenience. The traveling cases were made of Trianon canvas, making them lightweight and airtight – some added benefits to the fresh take.
Other manufacturers followed in his footsteps, no doubt recognizing the brilliance behind his idea, and jump started the impressive history of trendsetting we see today. At the time, the design was too easily copied by other brands, so to set his apart and stake his claim, “marque L. Vuitton déposée”, which translates to L. Vuitton registered trademark was added to each trunk so those that carried them could do so with the added value of his growing name. Later shortened to L.V., this symbol is one of the most notable logos in the industry today!
Branching out to other accessories and leather goods such as shoes, belts, jewelry, sunglasses and more, their popularity grew and a bright future developed before the company’s eyes. Passing from father to son, one bright mind to the next, generation after generation benefitted from the aesthetic and quality delivered by the designs and products produced under the LV name.
Creative Director Virgil Abloh
Today, Louis Vuitton ranks no. 17 out of 20 of the world’s most valuable brands across all sectors, operating in 50 countries with an approximated worth of 32 million. What started with a bag has become a staple for any fashion enthusiast’s closet, and a style and business empire recognized across the lines where fashion and the rest of the world divide. To the current artistic director Virgil Abloh, however, these lines may not be so defined, as suggested by his collaboration with up and coming pro skater Lucien Clarke.
A background of promoting and investing in progression, diversity, and on pointe fashion as evidenced by his label Off White, a fashion house founded in 2012, Abloh joined the LV team in 2018. This collaboration is the newest of many throughout the company’s history to tie fashion into other areas of life where it previously had been sacrificed for practicality or phased out by trends that had already been set. Modernity has meant change in recent years, though, and such is the trend for fashion as it extends past the runway. At the hands of Abloh, fashion culture continues to extend to include more and more walks of life, now peaking the interest of those who some would have previously considered uninterested in luxury fashion.
Professional Skater: Lucien Clarke
These shoes were made for skating, and that’s just what they’ll do on the feet of Lucien Clarke, a Jamaican-born, big city-raised skater. From the outside looking in, a skater joining forces with Louis Vuitton might seem like a stretch, like two worlds colliding, but both the modern fashion world and the modern skating world have more in common that one would initially think. In the words of Clarke himself, “I’d like to think skateboarding and fashion is one entity,” he said. “I’ve never seen it as separate worlds.” This mindset is the driving force behind a new trend and a new era of blurring the lines we’ve drawn between fashion and the rest of the world starting with this collab.
The progressive, expressive, and all inclusive mindsets are generally shared across the board here, welcoming new and old ideas, a plethora of peoples from all walks of life, and a positive culture to be one’s self in, whatever that may look like. For skaters that might perform a sick flip or trick on their board, and for fashionistas it might look like sporting a unique fit that’s just their style. Regardless of your fit, these shoes are undeniably one of the best shoes to skate in.
About the Sneaker
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To combine these expressive outlets into a pair of walking statements is where these great circles meet. The product of wants and needs from both ends of a spectrum; the new “A View” skate shoe. Wearing a pair of these is more than just fulfilling a skater’s necessity, but bridges a gap between luxury and the streets that fashion and society have parted wider rather than attempted to mend.
The history between these two worlds is a rocky one at some points in time where the desire to maintain exclusivity by the fashion crowd drove those who valued a more down to earth mindset away from products and lifestyles those with a differing mindset enjoyed. Luxury and fashion almost became associated with a “higher class” mindset and caused a separation between groups of people with somewhat similar ideals.
Featuring a framework of technical foam and thick polyurethane sole, the sneaker is available in three main colorways: blue, white, and orange. Layered suede and mesh make up the top and sides, with the classic LV logo sitting on the tongue. Signed in gold script by the legend himself on the side, everyone will know the elevated level of style the wearer brings to the skate park or strutting down the street.
A balance of classic streetwear style and a touch of luxury blend together to give any skating fit an instant upgrade. This design incorporates a core consideration of Abloh’s artistic direction; recognizing street wear as a “cultural institution nestled in reality, relatability and unity.”
Made to withstand the day-to-day wear and tear of a pro, these kicks are a fine example of where fashion meets the road, literally, for people who embrace the fluidity of life! Whether you pair them with your favorite fit of baggy pants, beat up t and beanie, or rock them with some skinny jeans, an oversized jacket and a dad hat, LV and Lucien Clarke’s “A View” shoes will catch the eye and steal the show when it comes to fashion and skating. All these benefits for the price of $1,190, with prices rising every month, available now on LV’s site, in select stores, and through select retailers.