On Sunday this past weekend, the fashion community was thrown into a great loss when the shocking and sad news of Virgil Abloh’s death made headlines. At 41, there was no sign of illness, Abloh was looking healthy from the outside but he was privately battling cardiac angiosarcoma, a “rare, aggressive” form of cancer that was diagnosed in 2019. Unfortunately, he gave up the ghost while still helming the affairs of Louis Vuitton menswear and his luxury label Off-White.
Following his untimely departure, Louis Vuitton swiftly presented its men’s show in Miami to celebrate the designer’s profound legacy and impact. Per reports, the show was originally planned to take place during the Miami Art Basel. However, in the video above, a young African-American boy could be seen riding a bicycle through the streets of Miami. He arrived at the beach looking wanderlust but suddenly continued his journey, where he eventually arrived in front of a giant red hot air balloon emblazoned with the LV logo.
Without any hesitation, the boy who is presumably in his teenage age, jumped inside the ballon with a smile and the next thing is Abloh’s voice. “I’ve been on this focus, in terms of my art and creativity, of getting adults to behave like children again. That they go back into this sense of wonderment. They start to stop using their mind, and they start using their imagination.”
Tagged “Virgil Was Here,” there was also a giant statue of the designer erected which shows him looking directly at the suspended LV ballon.
The show pulled out over 1500 people who came to celebrate the designer’s legacy. This includes his close friends Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Ricky Martin, DJ Khaled, Rihanna, A$AP Rocky, Venus Williams, Pharrell Williams, and a host of the fashion community.
As for the collection, Louis Vuitton presented 72 looks featuring tracksuits, suits, dresses, skirts, and sneakers — all of which are in striking colors. As a show of solidarity, Kid Cudi and Offset walked in the show but before then Michael Burke, the CEO of Louis Vuitton gave a speech to emphasize Abloh’s impact on the industry and the culture.
“The deeply moving show we are about to see is born out of an idea Virgil and I first discussed three years ago…,” Burke who first invited the designer to intern with Kanye West at Fendi over ten years ago said. “It is based around the traditional coming of age narrative…This idea.. was important to Virgil because inspiring and empowering younger generations defined who he was. He used the platform he had to break boundaries, to open doors, to shed light on his creative passions, art, design, music, and of course, fashion, so that everybody could see inside…”
At the end of the video, however, the lights were dimmed and Abloh’s voice was heard again saying, “There’s no limit. Life is so short that you can’t waste even a day subscribing to what someone thinks you can do versus knowing what you can do.” Fireworks rocketed across the sky and the words appeared: “Virgil was here.”
May his soul Rest In Peace!