Inside Louis Vuitton's NYC Pop-Up

Rachael Bennett, Creative Director of Doneger Creative Services
January 31, 2019

Why the key takeaway from Virgil Abloh's Louis Vuitton NYC pop-up may have nothing to do with his clothing.

The new artistic director for Louis Vuitton menswear brought his SS19 line to NYC for a showing of his debut collection for the luxury house. Hosted by Chrome Hearts in West Village, the pop-up included styles inspired by "The Wizard of Oz." The clothing was an incredible blend of creativity, luxury and oversized streetwear, as is his signature style. While the details were plentiful, it was the experience of being assigned a personal advisor and brand expert to escort shoppers through the collection that made the pop-up so memorable.

Shoppers were welcomed by a LV employee who then assigned a personal advisor to guide them through the experience, directing tours and explaining each of the big ideas exhibited in the pop-up. Each guide pointed out all the incredible details about the merchandise, like turning over the sneakers to show Virgil's signature placed within the design of the sole on his 408 sneakers or the new "hammered" metal effect on his LV keychain. Visitors learned about Abloh's obsession with the concept of blending accessories and garments and even used the word "accessormize," blending "accessories" and "maximize". Pieces included concepts like a T-shirt sewn inside out and highlighted the armhole merrow stitching on the garment exterior as well as the label being printed backwards.

Each brand advisor customized the experience for each individual shopper, and they were there to enhance the experience no matter if the patron was there to snap a selfie, to shop or to be guided through a gallery tour of Virgil's most inconspicuous details. Shoppers left the pop-up feeling educated and having a closer connection to the brand. The takeaway is that the future of luxury retail is a full-on embrace and upgrade of the store associate to something higher, an "experience engineer" for a new era of physical retail.