Super surprise: Why Louis Vuitton chose Kidsuper to co-create the next menswear collection

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KidSuper founder Colm Dillane, with just two Paris Fashion Week shows under his belt, returns next week with an extraordinary new gig at Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury house.

The Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2023 men’s collection, which will be presented on January 19, was created by the men’s studio “with the participation” of Dillane. “In other words, Colm is embedded in a male studio,” the outlet said on Tuesday. The play will also feature set design by Lina Kutsovskaya and French directors Michel and Olivier Gondry, who directed the opening film for the play. And expect a performance by an as yet undiscovered “world famous music star”.

According to the house, this marks the continuation of the collective talent concept already seen in the last two seasons following the death of Virgil Abloh, the artistic director of the house. Kutsovskaya was a longtime collaborator of Abloh, as well as Ib Kamara, who will be behind the styling of the upcoming fashion show.

So why did Louis Vuitton choose Dillane?

This season’s collaboration format, which effectively makes Dillane the runway’s first guest designer through his “embedded” cameo role, seems planned to act as a placeholder. Ever since Abloh’s sudden death in November 2021, the house has been carefully considering the sensitive question of who might replace him – a big question given Abloh’s generational impact and influence. Many names (including Dillane’s) were discussed. However, entrusting the task of leading its menswear production to Dillane only temporarily reduces that pressure while giving the company time to align and execute its future plans for creative strategy – and possibly the eventual appointment of a long-term successor to Abloh.

LVMH-owned Louis Vuitton is the world’s largest luxury house: its sales rose 20 percent to 20.6 billion euros in 2022 and are expected to reach 21.9 billion euros in 2023, according to HSBC estimates. Men’s wear may not be the bulk of the business, but the role of the male art director is crucial given the size of the house, the importance of leather goods, which analysts say make up more than 70 percent of the house’s sales, and the halo effect of the men’s designer’s creative vision on the desirability of the overall brand.

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