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These Viral Louis Vuitton Braids Are Blowing Up on Instagram

by Lauren Valenti / Friday, 18 January 2019

Photo: Mystic Gooden, Eat Crow Studios, Magnus Juliano / Courtesy of @magnusjuliano

Logomania shows no signs of slowing down in 2019. In fact, Magnus Juliano, a 27-year-old rapper and graphic designer from Columbus, Ohio, is upping the game in seismic fashion.

Utilizing cutting-edge technology to make himself a brand-worshipping canvas, Juliano took to social media yesterday to share his next-level ode to Louis Vuitton: box braids stacked with a rainbow of beads and topped off with jumbo-size charms featuring the French fashion house’s famous monogram. “Hey @VirgilAbloh, can I earn an internship? I have ideas!” he joked, addressing Vuitton’s men’s artistic director alongside a series of portraits of himself with the striking Technicolor hair baubles, the handiwork of a 3-D printer.

The idea for Juliano’s Internet-breaking homage to Vuitton first came to him in June of last year, he tells Vogue. But given the extreme technicality, it took six months—and lots of trial and error—to bring the concept to fruition. “I failed in production a few times, so I had to keep restarting again and again,” he explains. “It was discouraging and I almost walked away from it, but [fortunately] I regrouped.” Ultimately, it was in tapping Eat Crow Studio, a 3-D-printing collective cofounded by Juliano’s former college professor Sarah Crowell and her husband, John, for the color-blocked ornaments, as well as collaborating with hairstylist Ciera Jackson on the braiding and meticulous fastening, that made his dream became a reality. Not to mention an Instagram sensation, too.

Continuously inspired by his ancestors, as well as artists like Solange Knowles and Kelela with their embellished, shape-shifting manes, Juliano sought to disrupt the status quo while honoring the past with his head-swiveling look. “African-American roots are rich in hair jewelry and headdress—it’s our fabric,” he explains. “I chose [to pay tribute to] Louis Vuitton because of the impact [the brand has] had on art and design, but from the perspective of designers like Dapper Dan, who didn’t have access to [luxury brands] yet still made hip-hop couture using their likeness.”

And as far as Juliano is concerned, Virgil Abloh becoming Vuitton’s artistic director of menswear is a harbinger for even greater things to come for inclusivity in the fashion world, both globally and personally. “Virgil, a brilliant black streetwear creative, is helming one of the biggest fashion houses in history,” he says of his role model proudly. “That representation makes me feel like the sky is the limit!” In other words, this viral DIY project is just the beginning.