i liken this moment in time to when barack obama took the white house. white being the operative word; the leaps and bounds that black talent has risen through persistent work and re-working of rules in order to break them have been an area of focus for me in this space. looking at ways, that we- people of color, are not represented and thinking of the ways we should be represented. what virgil has done, creatively; whether his work in the music industry, breaking barriers through components of musical media, to his DJ’ing. there are so many aspects of his creativity that bleed into other elements and accentuate his true being as an artist. he’s a cultural arbiter, a true taste maker- of the street. intellectual, subliminal, from the root and foundation of the structure- virgil abloh will has saved fashion. in an era where things are washed out, everything is overpublicized- exists abloh in the crux of the beat; in the eye of the storm. from his early days with PYREX vision, to even the others that are a part of his creative collective- these young black men are what the future of fashion not only will be, they are representation of where it has been and what it is today, most vividly present in a way that can only secure the future through design. before the collections walk the runways at vuitton, and after the news has become announced and everyone has heard- i had to take a moment to share, in this space, what this appointment of virgil, as creative director at louis vuitton not only means to me, but what it means for us.
dehonney and i attended a nike party, for then nike collaborator ASAP bari, in NYC, back in 2016. the line stretched down the block, and when we got in; we were right in the VIP section; which was more like an elevated bleachered, platform space. not far from this area was the DJ booth, and virgil was spinning at the party. i observed him from the sideline, not wanting to disrupt the moment with the nuisance of asking for a photo. i seen others asking and even aiming their phone in his direction, with him motioning to them, “no pictures”. he was in his phone, and was calm and focused, even amidst the hype of the party- one of the most sought after that evening, being fashion week. for a long while, i had tried to get in touch; but never got a response. even after my infamous kanye tweet, sending emails seen no response. which wasn’t surprising, but still my attempt was definition worth the shot. at that time, there were so many things bubbling under the surface. his loss of the LVMH prize, which i was almost certain he would win. there was the denial of the givenchy creative director spot; which would have been perfect for him as well. but no opportunity is as meaningful or important as his vuitton appointment. i think the world of fashion truly has not seen the greatness of virgil. we have long looked at him as a hero and true genius; and this appointment is only further solidification of that. all that we have known, and celebrated, the rest of the world will see. his play with words, images, sounds and structure- through deconstruction and architecture- all of these elements that work against and in contrast with each other, through his work. i struggle to find the words to say, to express how important this moment in time means for all of us.
let the future live today, as we enjoy the vision that we’ve already been a part of. let the black american roots bleed into the european fashion universe and release all that has been trapped, held back and kept invisible. let the blurred lines become defined, while the new revises what has been known for what will be demonstrated through clothes shown. this, by design, is the work of god- and just the moment that i, you as the reader, and all the creatives that we’ve spoke of and with in this space have all been working toward. virgil is the first and quite possibly the greatest to do it, and with him leading our future is now brighter than ever. through him, for us all, it is all possible.
congratulations to louis vuitton
on acquiring the talent of virgil abloh
to virgil, we thank you.