Virgil Abloh has established himself over the past few years as a critical force in a new wave of designers that seeks to blur the lines between everyday streetwear and high-end clothing. However, his most recent accomplishment in the world of fashion may very well be his most iconic yet.
Virgil revealed to the world almost three months ago, on March 26, that he had been appointed the latest creative director of storied fashion house Louis Vuitton. This move marked a significant milestone for Abloh as well as fashion as a whole, being the first African-American creative director of the French fashion house.
The creative was met with plenty of critics who questioned the decision almost immediately after it was announced, but nay-sayers didn’t inhibit Abloh one bit.
Today, at 2:30 P.M. French time, Abloh unveiled his first runway collection with Louis Vuitton. Along the long rainbow-colored catwalk trotted some of the modeling world’s biggest names, as well as plenty of personal friends of Virgil as well.
Rappers Playboi Carti, Kid Cudi, and A$AP Nast were all models for the show, exhibiting Abloh’s daring new direction for the historic brand.
The clothing designed by Abloh is a new take on the luxury DNA of the brand, instilling his modernity while maintaining the label’s trademarks of quality and craftsmanship.
Logo-less bags draped in ceramic chains, neon colored pocketed vests, and new high top sneakers with Air Jordan-esque features were showcased on the runway, which overall exemplified Abloh’s vision of blending modern style with couture ideals.
At the end of the show, Abloh took a stroll down the runway, clearly moved emotionally by the entire situation. After only a few seconds of walking, however, Abloh spotted long-time friend and collaborator Kanye West sitting in the first row and ran over to join him for a tearful embrace.
Alongside West in attendance was wife Kim Kardashian, as well as Kylie Jenner with her boyfriend, Travis Scott.
For those who don’t know, West and Abloh both held intern positions at other notable fashion house Fendi back in 2009. From there, the rapper commissioned Abloh to join his creative team, leading him to design tour merch a few years later for West’s Yeezus album. Soon after, Virgil founded his own brand named “Pyrex,” causing controversy in the fashion world for screen-printing his labeling on to forty dollar overstock Ralph Lauren flannels, and then de-tagging them and selling them for $550. The brand was worn by the trendiest at the time, including Kanye, but it eventually disbanded as Abloh cited it as more of an experiment than a lasting imprint.
The designer then went on to found his current brand, “Off-White,” which he has defined as the “grey area” between streetwear and designer fashion. The label has done collaborations with iconic names such as Nike, Ikea, and even the New York City Ballet.