Issue 49 of Ten Men Is Here and It’s All About Drop Culture: Aaron Lewins Wears Virgil Abloh’s Louis Vuitton Poppy Fields
And who better to explain all that’s happening inside than our Editrix Sophia Neophitou, the mastermind behind the Issue. Ten Men 49 is out on February 28th and here is the Editor’s Letter:
“This issue began with the realisation that a discussion of drop culture was essential. The drop has punctuated the everyday dialogue of streetwear for years but has now been wholeheartedly adopted by the luxury establishment. A streetwear emulating product release now dominates and defines success in the luxury-fashion landscape. The fresh kings of this new wave are at the helm: Kim Jones at Dior, Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton and Riccardo Tisci at Burberry. They’ve brought with them a raft of change that has pushed the traditional codes of conduct into the depths of the past.
Now, new codes, tried and tested by streetwear brands, have been adopted with vigour. These new fashion masters heading up established luxury brands have embraced the methodology. Changing the dusty attitudes of all the global luxury super-brands, they have paved the way for new beginnings. This is the era of the luxury-brand drop, conceived to whip fans into a frenzy of anticipation and, of course, purchasing panic. With that in mind, we asked our favourite hype maestro, Atip W, to pinpoint the pieces worth queuing for.
Desire is at the heart of this new dynamic and Richard Benson argues that wanting something can be more pleasurable than actually getting it. Luxury is harnessing streetwear tactics to stay modern and increase sales to eager, younger consumers. The US skate brand Supreme’s sell-out drops and subsequent pole position within a huge resale industry has made it a $1 billion company. Numbers like that can’t be ignored and Ted Stansfield introduces menswear’s new royals who are taking the best of the street and luxury worlds and creating a new language. What it also reinforces is the evolution of the retail ritual, and its alignment with a season-less fashion future, which has numerous strategic variations, including a subtler, stealth wealth angle that’s more palatable to an older audience.
Experts believe such drops are not only essential to establishing a regular bond with brand fans, but also key to streamlining an already complicated world of brand messaging. What’s notable about this new attitude inside these luxury brands (aside from the inspiration taken from names such as Supreme, Palace and Kanye West’s Yeezy) is the punctuation of a regular, defined release date. Each drop may range in scale and availability, but it will always afford a consistent line of communication to brand fans across all social media.
A new epoch of retail has arrived and both Richard Gray and Calum Gordon explore the consequences. The first hint of how successful and relevant drop culture could be for the luxury landscape was the initial collaboration of Louis Vuitton under Jones and Supreme. Queues formed outside stores that lapped blocks in Japan. Globally, product was limited. Fans of both labels were made aware of its rarity, which made it all the more desirable. Once the pieces were gone, they were gone – maybe to arise again (usually at a higher price) on the resale market, which is also a phenomenon born out of the limited-edition strategy.
The US resale market is predicted to be worth $41 billion by 2022, and we meet the teenage moguls flipping fortunes using the shopping app Depop. Whichever way you look at it, drop culture is no longer only relevant to streetwear and skate brands. The theory has finally been validated in the echelons of the global luxury houses. We have reflected on these attitudes inside this issue and celebrate the shift now impacting on and changing the face of fashion forever.”
NEW ROYALS, RESET, DEMOCRACY – Issue 49 of Ten Men is out on February 28th.
LOUIS VUITTON: THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED
Photographer Laurence Passera
Fashion editor Garth Spencer
Hair Kim Rance
Makeup Guy Common
Model Aaron Lewins at Models 1
Casting Arianna Pradarelli and Laurence Passera
Photographer’s assistants Russel Higton and Amelia Karlsen
Fashion assistant Connie Lombaya
Hair assistants Anni Rademacher, Tomoko Fushimi, Laura Chadwick and Tom Vincent
Make-up assistant Elizabeth Perry
Digital operator Brian Cleaver
Shot at Shoreditch Studios
Thanks to Digital Light, Danny at Shoreditch Studios, Dan at Models 1, Dounia at Select and Andrew at IMG