A week has passed since Virgil Abloh, artistic director of menswear at Louis Vuitton, has passed away after a private battle with cancer. The fashion luminaire had scheduled to present his spin-off Spring Summer 2022 collection at the Miami Art Basel last Tuesday (November 30).
The show was supposed to mark the opening of Louis Vuitton’s new menswear store in Miami’s Design District. But instead, the runway presentation became a tribute to celebrate Abloh’s creative vision. More than 1,500 guests were in attendance including his closest friends like Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, A$AP Rocky and Bella Hadid.
The Arnault family also made their appearance just as the show was about to start at around 6 pm. Attendees to the show took a 30-minute boat ride to reach their destination — Miami Marine Stadium. To officially kick off the evening’s event, CEO Michael Burke gave a short and emotional speech, recounting his memories of Abloh.
Image: Louis VuittonImage: Louis VuittonImage: Louis Vuitton
The opening look for the show was an all-black ensemble of a belted suit vest in technical wool that is overworn with a single-breasted jacket with pin-hook details. The model also wore a top hat, a pair of LVM ice-hokey gloves and Tatic sneakers. Abloh’s vision of blurring the lines between formal styles and streetwear was clearly shown from the mix of the different elements.
This spin-off was actually a rehashed of Abloh’s Spring Summer 2022 collection presented earlier in June. In addition to the original designs, the designer added ten new looks and some of them were worn by the likes of Kid Cudi, Quavo and Offset.
Kid Cudi even took to Twitter to share his final conversation with Abloh, where the rapper had asked him what colour to dye his hair to match with his outfit for the runway for this very show. He also wrote: “Our last text was Saturday morning. Im glad I got to tell u how I felt about u. Im happy u didnt leave here not knowing. I love you Virg FOREVER”
Image: Louis VuittonImage: Louis Vuitton
Following the belted suit vest, was a tracksuit top layered with an oversized suit jacket — further juxtaposing formal and streetwear. There was even a model carrying a skateboard down the runway. The show continued with the Louis Vuitton monogram plastered on hooded parkas and wide slit-hem slacks.
The show then ended with an emotional farewell to the designer.
Louis Vuitton CEO and chairman Michael Burke in a statement posted to Instagram: “It is with profound sorrow that I learned of the passing of Virgil Abloh. Virgil was not only a friend, great collaborator, creative genius, visionary and disruptor, but also one of the best cultural communicators of our times. He paved the way for future generations. As a devoted supporter of his community through his charities and passions, he was an eternal optimist who believed anything was possible.”
Members of the LV design team gathered to mourn the loss as a soundbite of Abloh reverberated through the Miami port sky ending off with fireworks.
“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.”
With the blessing of his family, Mercedes-Benz also unveiled its last collaboration with the late fashion icon — Project Maybach also at Art Basel Miami. It is a solar-powered electric car with zero emissions. It is nearly six metres long and has an other-worldly spaceship-like appearance and is decked out in entirely tan leather.
Abloh brought his creative vision to Baccarat to create a new collection called, “Crystal Clear”, for one of his final collaborations. The collection consists of a chandelier, four vases, and a signature glass complete with a lid and straw. Each piece is also numbered and has chain-link accents.
For more fashion reads, click here.