As we grapple to make sense of the sudden and devestating loss of Virgil Abloh, Louis Vuitton has announced its SS22 runway will be a tribute to its late creative director. Having been scheduled to take place in Miami for the best part of six months, the show will go ahead as planned, presenting Abloh’s final collection for the French fashion house.
“Virgil Was Here” will pay tribute to the life and legacy of the designer, announced across social media with a two-minute film of a young boy cycling through Miami, zooming along its coast, until he reaches a hot air balloon and soars into the sky. Just four days ago, Abloh posted a teaser of the show on Instagram with “Miami, I have an idea…” – that he was working so close to his death is testament to Abloh’s tenacity and unwavering drive to create.
Fellow industry titans have taken to social media to express their shock and loss surrounding the news of Abloh’s passing, since the designer decided to keep his cancer diagnosis a secret. Kanye West dedicated his latest Sunday Service installment to his friend, sharing a livestream of a choral rendition of Adele’s “Easy On Me”.
Frank Ocean, too, shared a handful of his memories of the designer. “In 2018, I called V and asked him how it was possible to play hundreds of shows a year and do numerous fashion collections, and be a father and a husband and return EVERYONE’s texts with enthusiasm and emojis and encouragement, and seemingly… with ease,” wrote Ocean. ““The gist of his response was that he was interested in living, and living to the maximum extent of his level… which proved to be impossible today because he was BEYOND. I know grief is love that you don’t get to express, so this is an attempt at expressing it. Love you V. You’re a hero.”
It’s not just famous people, though. Over the past few days, newsfeeds have been flooded with tributes, with young, fairly unknown creatives sharing the heartfelt and often inspiring DMs that Abloh would send them. Intimate records of the designer’s ability to look beyond himself and catalyse future generations of creatives. While details on the show remain sparse, viewers can tune into the livestream at 22:30 GMT or 17:30 ET across Louis Vuitton’s YouTube, Instagram and website.