HOMME FIELD ADVANTAGE
First Louis Vuitton menswear boutique struts into luxury San Antonio shopping center
When it comes to menswear, the stereotypes about San Antonio don’t exactly paint the most dapper picture. Ariat shirts, cargo shorts, and flip-flops may be breezy in a hundred-plus-degree weather but aren’t exactly the stuff of a GQ fashion spread.
Still, one of the world’s toniest brands sees enough potential in Alamo City’s peacocks to open a full-time boutique. According to Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation filings, Louis Vuitton plans to open its first men’s shop in the Shops of La Cantera.
The brand, formally named Louis Vuitton Malletier, is one of the most globally recognizable luxury houses. Founded in 1854, the coveted brand found new relevance in 1997 when Marc Jacobs was appointed artistic director and ushered in cult collaborations with designer Stephen Sprouse, artist Takashi Murakami, and others.
The menswear business, however, grabbed few headlines. Though current Dior Homme creative director Kim Jones made a splash by teaming up with streetwear giant Supreme, the late Virgil Abloh’s appointment in 2018 kicked off a frenzied period for the brand with a devoted celebrity fanbase.
Following Abloh’s death in 2021, the menswear collection remained rudderless for an unusually protracted period, designed without a name on the marquee. Then, in February 2023, Louis Vuitton's parent brand surprised many insiders by appointing musician and producer Pharrell Williams to the post in 2023.
Though some regarded the installation as a gimmick, Williams has had a longstanding interest in high fashion. In addition to collaborating with Chanel, Moncler, Tiffany & Co., and Adidas Originals, the producer’s relationship with Louis Vuitton dates back to 2004, when he worked with Jacobs on a sunglasses line.
It’s unclear whether the La Cantera store will carry much of William’s collections. Although the development includes shops from Louis Vuitton contemporaries like Gucci, thus far, the boutiques have focused on lucrative handbags, accessories, and fragrance sales instead of ready-to-wear. Fashionistas will find out sometime after August 2024, when the shop is set to finish its build-out.