Critiques

Luxury Fashion Takes to the Court with LV x NBA 2021

the best of the 2021 LV x NBA collaboration capsule collection of bags, shoes and apparel

The love affair between the NBA and designer fashion continues apace with the January 2021 drop of a new limited-edition capsule collection from the three-year LV x NBA collaboration. Our correspondent Julie Chang Murphy shares her take on the best of the latest drop from the LV x NBA collaboration, showcasing her picks for the best bags, shoes, apparel and accessories. Dare we say it? We think this collection is a slam dunk.

New 2021 drop from the NBA x Louis Vuitton collab

Last October, the 17th NBA championship season concluded with LeBron James and the rest of the Los Angeles Lakers taking home the coveted Larry O’Brien Trophy. But truth be told —our eyes were on the bespoke Louis Vuitton Travel Case that housed the trophy! Not to mention the limited edition collection from the Louis Vuitton x NBA collaboration which was finally revealed in November.

the best of the 2021 LV x NBA bags, shoes and apparel

The Louis Vuitton (LV) NBA Championship trophy travel case. Courtesy Photo.

Developed under the artistic direction of Virgil Abloh, the 40-plus piece collection includes apparel, bags, and jewelry — all inspired by a NBA player’s revolving wardrobe from travel, press conferences and of course, the pre-game arrival.

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American sports x European designer fashion

The collaboration solidifies the undisputed influence of professional athletes and street wear in luxury fashion. As Abloh said in his press statement, “Fashion muses aren’t predictable. Ideas of luxury can be found in the sports world and its champions as much as in traditional forms of artistry.”

That’s borne out by other recent collabs between pro sports leagues in America and leading European luxury brands. There was the Gucci x MLB capsule of 2018, and last year’s Dior Air Jordans, for example.

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And of course, it’s a historic moment as much as it is a personal one for Abloh, one of the few black designers in luxury fashion. It’s a moment to celebrate the “cultural contribution of basketball and its diverse characters” but also, as Abloh says, “my real job is to make sure that there’s, like, six young Black kids that take my job after me.”

the best of the 2021 LV x NBA bags, shoes and apparel

Louis Vuitton menswear designer Virgil Abloh. Courtesy Photo.

This capsule is just the start of the luxury French Maison and the NBA’s three year partnership. And we think Abloh has hit it out of the park. Or should we say — this collection is a slam dunk? While this writer may confuse their sports analogies, there is no mistaking his achievement in creating the collection’s unique look — a perfect blend of elegant craftsmanship and iconic American sports.

the best of the 2021 LV x NBA bags, shoes and apparel

The interactive shopping experience for the LV x NBA 2021 limited-edition capsule collection at Madison Square Garden in New York. Courtesy Photo.

highlights from the LV x NBA 2021 collaboration capsule collection

Below, take a look at everything we are coveting. And be sure to check out this page for a Covid-friendly and interactive shopping experience on the grounds of Madison Square Garden.

1. LV x NBA 2021: Bags

Who knew red, white and blue harmonized so well with the distinctive LV Monogram canvas? These bags have all the utility needed for travel, and true to its name — The Basketball Keepall can hold your favorite basketball to the courts and then some.

  • Louis Vuitton x NBA bags: The Basketball Keepall ($3,500). Courtesy Photo.

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2. LV x NBA 2021: Shoes

Streetwear media brand HighSnobiety declared the footwear from this capsule as the standout. We see where they’re coming from. Instead of designing a typical high-top basketball sneaker, Abloh elevated boots, loafers and casual sneakers with luxurious details like glazed calf leather and LV Monogram flowers embedded in the heels.

  • Louis Vuitton x NBA shoes: Oberkampf Ankle Boot ($1,390). Courtesy Photo.

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3. LV x NBA 2021: Apparel

The apparel in this collection — hoodies, suits, and sweatpants, all have a modern, graphic quality. The NBA Player logo is reimagined as a houndstooth pattern and fits are slim and tailored.

  • the best of the 2021 LV x NBA collaboration capsule collection of bags, shoes and apparel
    Louis Vuitton x NBA apparel: Jacquard Logo Suit Jacket ($3,400). Courtesy Photo.

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4. Louis Vuitton x NBA 2021: Accessories

Any of these pieces would make great gifts for the basketball fan in your life. But we think they’re subtle enough for those who just love the contemporary and youthful feel of the collection.

  • Louis Vuitton x NBA accessories: Basket Court Scarf ($960). Courtesy Photo.

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the NBA x Louis Vuitton 2021 capsule collection

Those are the highlights of the bags, accessories, apparel and shoes from the latest LV x NBA drop. What do you think? Does this collection live up to the hype? And if you think so, what’s at the top of your shopping list, dear reader?

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Crediting her training as a cultural anthropologist at Wellesley College, Julie has immersed herself in various industries in the last 15 years including fashion design, event planning, and fitness. Julie lives in New York where she loves trying every ramen and dumpling restaurant with her husband and three children. She finds joy in bold prints, biographies of fierce women, kickboxing. And spending way too long finding the perfect polish color to express her mood.

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