It was just a day before British Fashion Awards that the fashion community was struck by the news of Virgil Abloh’s sudden death. Abloh had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in 2019 and had been fighting the disease in private for the past 3 years. The news came as a shock to many as the late designer was scheduled to show Louis Vuitton’s SS22 fashion show in Miami just days later. Celebrities, friends, family and fans took to their social media accounts to express their grief on the passing of one of the most prominent designers of 21st century.
Abloh was a leader in bringing streetwear and African-American culture to the luxury fashion industry. His appointing as the creative director of Louis Vuitton Menswear opened a road for many young creatives to enter the industry that was kept sacred to the elite for decades. But it was not just the fashion community that faced change in the realm of Abloh, but also multiple other creative communities such as music, architecture and design. Abloh was an idol to many who had the dream of making it their industry but were kept back by gate-keeping.
Architecture and industrial design were of great inspiration to Abloh’s work in fashion as he had his academic background in them. The American designer often incorporated elements of various areas of design into his ironic works, but the most common element is definitely Industrial Design. Virgil had a Duchamp approach towards design, and this was by some viewed as plagiarism. That view might come from a Horizontal perspective but Virgil’s impact on art and design like many other previous revolutionaries will reveal itself in time.
As media has mentioned repeatedly in the days following his death, “Virgil was here”, and he will remain here.
Written by Toranj Nasiri.