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Louis Vuitton Menswear SS19Photography Arnaud Lafeuillade

This Skepta & Naomi Campbell-approved new face opened Virgil’s LV show

London-born Lash made his runway debut at yesterday’s SS19 show

After months of anticipation, yesterday Virgil Abloh finally presented his debut Louis Vuitton menswear collection. With the likes of Kanye West, Kim K, Kylie Jenner, Takashi Murakami, Naomi Campbell, Rihanna, the fashion press, and about a thousand students all attending, it’s safe to say all eyes were on the designer.

If there was another person in line for most watched though, it would be Lash, who opened the show. Coming down the rainbow runway in a tailored look from the all-white-everything section of the show, the huge moment marked his first stint on the catwalk. “I wouldn’t say I’m a model, though” he explains backstage. “I’m modelling.”

“Louis Vuitton has always been the one that I’ve looked at, but it’s been so far away. Virgil coming into it changes it completely” – Lash

Hailing from London and part of Skepta’s crew, Lash counts Grace Ladoja and Naomi Campbell (“she’s the queen of the industry,” he says) among his fans. Obviously Abloh is too, given he drafted him to open the show just a day before it took place. “I walked into the fitting with and he said ‘oh yeah, your photo is first’”, he explains. For some, something this big might trigger an attack of nerves. But not Lash: he was “ready to execute”.

The respect Abloh has for Lash is clearly mutual, with the LV opener noting the importance of his appointment as the first black designer at the Parisian house. “Louis Vuitton has always been the one that I’ve looked at, but it’s been so far away. Virgil coming into it changes it completely,” he says. “I’m just part of a movement right now – I don’t know what movement it is but it’s history and we’re part of it.”