Louis Vuitton Menswear and Off White Creative Director Virgil Abloh’s untimely death sent shock waves through the fashion industry. Innumerable fans and fashion enthusiasts were reeling from the unexpected passing of a genius of our time. But almost as quickly as the world learned of his death, Louis Vuitton had already erected a tribute to his brilliance, down in Miami for Art Basel: a 30 foot tall statue, splashed in orange and blue, with a pensive looking Abloh peering through LV shades into the Florida blue sky.
His statue, and design talent, permeated the Men’s Spring 2022 collection that showed. Colors were bold and hopeful, and boasted many futuristic elements: oversized gloves, chubby hats, and vests worn with skirts. Men walked quickly and fearlessly in ombre jackets, multicolored coats, and suits the color of fuchsia lipstick. The showing was so bright, one would have to wear shades.
Rappers and friends ranging from Kanye West to Gunna to 21 Savage were in the audience, while Quavo, Kid Cudi, and Offset walked in the show.
Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, and their daughter North also reunited for the solemn event. While painful, Abloh’s passing brought friends and family together in the most stylish way possible.
Abloh’s creativity knew no bounds. Within days of the show, Louis Vuitton opened its 2nd freestanding men’s store in the world in Miami’s design district. Michael Burke, Vuitton’s CEO, said Abloh was very involved in its design.
Mercedes Benz also revealed an Abloh designed Maybach-Mercedes electric car, saying, “We want to respectfully celebrate the work of a truly unique design talent, who created endless possibilities.” The car could have been plucked for a recasted Back To the Future, with its shiny mirrored body, large tires, and sleek interior details.
Elsewhere during Miami Art Basel, life goes on. Celebrities party and peruse works of art, snapping pictures at each turn. Life always moves along, and those who remain are left to honor their legacy.
Over in London, for the British Fashion Awards, Idris Elba encapsulated the feeling the best, quoting Maya Angelou, “They existed. We can be. Be and Be Better. For they existed.”
One can only hope that at the end of a life well lived, you have made an indelible mark on the earth. That you mattered. That generations to come will know that you were here.
It seems Virgil did just that.
May he rest in eternal peace.