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(AP Photo/Francois Mori)

PARIS (AP) — The debut Louis Vuitton collection by Virgil Abloh, the first African-American to head a major European fashion house, drew stars of all stripes to Paris for his rainbow-themed menswear show.

Kanye West was there with his wife, Kim Kardashian West, who had returned to Paris for the first time since she was tied up and robbed at gunpoint during an October 2016 jewelry heist. Model Bella Hadid weathered a prevailing hot spell behind shades, while Rihanna and Naomi Campbell arrived for the big event of Paris Fashion Week at the last minute.

Here are some highlights from Thursday’s spring-summer menswear shows:


“It is a big, big day,” Bella Hadid said as she took her seat in the yellow section of Louis Vuitton’s multicolored set.

“It’s great,” chimed in Rihanna, who rocked a hip, white LV jumpsuit.

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proud of you bro. @virgilabloh

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It was clear by the mood at the show that expectations for artistic director Abloh’s debut were at stratospheric levels.

And Abloh did not squander his moment. There was deep and thoughtful symbolism throughout the 56 multicolored looks.

White dominated the first designs. The hue, which signifies purity or new beginnings, also inspired Abloh’s first main fashion venture, the Milan-based house Off-White.

On Thursday, it was the base color for sheer T-shirts, LV fitted jackets and loose pleated pants that were accessorized with broken white chains that hung from bags and dragged on the floor. All of the models displaying the garments were black.

Colors then flourished.

A fluorescent yellow breast-plate top began a leitmotif of cage-like garments, such as orange ribbed vests and fluorescent side bibs.

Abloh literally went over the rainbow for the show’s best looks, which channeled “The Wizard of Oz.” A black and white jacquard double-breasted tailored jacket had an image of Judy Garland on the back.



Abloh’s Louis Vuitton debut was recognized as a history-making moment for fashion.

American football player Victor Cruz, 31, who has African-American and Puerto Rican roots, told The Associated Press: “I’m happy to be alive and be part of this, because this hasn’t happened before in my generation.”

Cruz, who arrived with Hadid, said having an African-American designer leading a European heritage house for the first time was “opening the door. People now have to pay attention to minorities and the culture that we are shaping for ourselves.”

“This forces them to pay attention to us now,” he continued. “Pay attention in a real way, and not just inviting us to their shows. There are more doors opening to us now.”






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