Fashion world pays tribute to Virgil Abloh
Fashion industry leaders, creative directors from the LVMH group’s labels but also from all leading industry names, models, artists, designers and sports personalities, they have all joined together to pay tribute to the memory of Virgil Abloh, who died aged 41 on November 28 2021.
Representatives of various industry federations hailed the special place Abloh had earned himself on the fashion scene.
“Virgil Abloh was a visionary fashion designer. Driven by his enormous creativity, he has transformed the codes of fashion, founded an incredibly successful label and brought all his talent and his cutting-edge sense of innovation to Louis Vuitton. But above all, he was an exceptional man for his humanity, his openness to others, his kindness of heart and his willingness to break barriers,” said Ralph Toledano, president of the French Fashion and Haute Couture Federation.
In the USA, Tom Ford, as president of the CFDA, paid solemn tribute to Abloh's importance. “The CFDA mourns the loss of our esteemed board member and designer Virgil Abloh. Virgil changed the landscape of American fashion with his revolutionary label Off-White, and broke barriers by becoming the first black creative director at Louis Vuitton. Our thoughts go to his family and friends during these difficult times.”
Maria Grazia Chiuri of Dior, Francesco Ragazzi of Palm Angels, Marc Jacobs, Raf Simons, Marine Serre and Simon Porte Jacquemus also paid tribute to the US designer's memory on Sunday.
“I was so sad to learn of the passing of our dear Virgil, one of the nicest people you could ever meet,” said Kim Jones, creative director of menswear at Dior. Jones added that “[We enjoyed] many great moments travelling around the world, meeting in hotel rooms, working on the ground together, meeting the press in Japan, laughing and sharing ideas. My thoughts go to Shannon and the children, and the rest of his family.”
“May your kindness illuminate the world of angels. Until we meet again,” wrote Alessandro Michele, creative director of Gucci.
“We met thanks to Jun (Jun Takahashi, designer of Undercover) a few years ago, and I went to this event where they both performed as DJs,” remembered Pierpaolo Piccioli, creative director of Valentino. “We took our respective leave promising each other that, some day, we would make music together, the three of us. The more I search for the right words to express my feelings, the more I remember him, an incredibly talented young man, a designer, father, artist, full of life and creativity. He changed the fashion game with his disruptive humanity and curiosity. I am sure that all of this will stay with us,” added Piccioli.
Many artists have celebrated Virgil Abloh's legacy. “My heart is broken, Virgil, you were kind, generous, an absolute creative genius. Your work as a human being and your spiritual work too will live forever. You are with the masters now. Shine on,” said US musician and producer Pharrell Williams.
“We have lost a visionary artist,” posted artist Daniel Arsham on his Instagram account, with a picture of Abloh and himself. He added he was “Devastated to learn about the passing of Virgil Abloh. Eleven years ago, he cold-called my studio and asked me to come to meet with him about some projects. This was before Pyrex, Been Trill, Off-White and all the other revolutionary projects he embarked on. He was always ready for a text message conversation about chair design or architecture. He was kind enough to write the introduction to my last book, and in it he distilled with his unique voice what I was hoping to achieve with my own work. He was a unique talent, a visionary artist, a friend. I love you Virg. You have left an indelible mark on many of us.”
Finally, Gigi Hadid wrote these moving words after Abloh’s death: “His kindness and energetic generosity left a lasting impression on every life he touched. He made everyone feel seen and special. He will be deeply missed, cherished, and celebrated by me and all the people and industries that have been lucky enough to work around & know the true supernova behind this man. I picture him now as our Mickey Mouse ... forever with us, forever adored, forever magical, forever guiding us with that special Virgil FUN. I'm sure that's how he wanted to be remembered, but still it will never be the same without him in the room.”
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