The louvre

Louis Vuitton invites the Florida Marching Band to the Louvre for Paris Fashion Week

The models wear creations as part of the Louis Vuitton Spring Summer 2023 men’s collection presented in Paris. PA

Louis Vuitton turned up the volume during Paris Fashion Week on Thursday, dragging Florida’s famed Marching 100 group to the heart of the Louvre to kick off a runway show for its latest range of colorful menswear styles – honoring the popular designer and deceased of Mark, Virgil Abloh.

“Virgil, long live Virgil,” intoned rapper Kendrick Lamar, seated next to model Naomi Campbell on a bright yellow track – an exploded toy racetrack that snaked around a cobblestone courtyard with a fountain running down the center.

Performers from the Florida A&M University group twirled flags to the sound of brass, breaking into dance moves before leaving the floor in formation, clearing the way for the models.

Louis Vuitton 22 A model presents a Louis Vuitton creation.

For the spring-summer collection, the fashion house’s men’s studio drew inspiration from Abloh’s signature tailoring, sending elongated suits in pastel hues, jackets covered in wildflower prints or embellishments like paper airplane shapes and dangling scissor patches. There were twisted, psychedelic biker jackets, fringed denim jackets, knit hats and jagged-edged shirts worn with baggy Bermuda shorts.

At the end of the show, the models made a light stripe of pastel rainbow fabric, reminiscent of Abloh’s first Paris show for the brand in 2018 which he held on a rainbow catwalk, symbolizing its approach to diversity.

Abloh, fashion’s most prominent black designer, died last year at 41 after a battle with cancer. He was known for drawing inspiration from the streets and cementing the arrival of streetwear into the high-end fashion world.