An icon. A trailblazer. A star. A natural- born creative. A master of all that he accomplished. Virgil Abloh was one of the most influential fashion architects of our time who paved the way for young designers with new visions and idiosyncratic talents similar to his. He was more than a leader in fashion. Abloh commanded attention and respect to all that he made and constructed down to his very last collection. He was the definition of persistent and tenacious as he constantly pressed on, despite his major illness, to provide the public his cutting-edge and innovative works that we and many others globally have come to not only love, but now to cherish in our hearts forever.
The passing of Virgil Abloh personally hit me hard, as a young African American designer and creative myself, he was deeply inspirational and a path-maker to me and other artists of color showing us all that we can make it to the forefront, to the helm and head of a fashion house, and most importantly that not one thing will stand in our way if we fight for it. Being the first black creative director of Louis Vuitton in it’s 167 year history highlighted Abloh’s protagonist character and his transformative persona which made way for this new generation of designers, teaching us all that there is a space for us in this industry and we too can make our mark on the future of fashion. If I could have met any designer in the world it would have been Virgil Abloh, hands down. The ingenuity and imagination behind his designs linked with the way he broke down the barriers between streetwear and luxury with his prodigious Off- White brand continuously pushes me as a designer to become more inventive with my own designs. I would have asked him every question in the book from “How did you make it this far to the top as such a new and unusual face in the industry?” to “How do you so easily link your architectural and artistic knowledge to your fashion design?” and I’d take the time to relish in his visionary presence hoping to absorb at least a small part of prolific and gifted nature and talents.
Abloh’s first and last collection at Louis Vuitton will forever be my favorites and arguably the most quintessential and legendary menswear collections up to date at Louis Vuitton. Both symbolize Virgil’s emotional, yet impactful start and ending and materialize his illustrious creativity as well exhibit to the audience that Virgil Abloh was more than fashion and art, he was history in the making. He was driven and motivated by his dedication to his craft and his mission to open doors and create pathways for equality in art and design. He believed deeply in the power of art to inspire future generations and his name will forever be exalted.