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Inside Virgil Abloh’s final show for Louis Vuitton in Miami


Written by Nick Remsen, CNNMiami, Florida

When the news about Virgil Abloh’s death happened on Sunday, many speculated that Louis Vuitton’s Spring-Summer 2022 collection presentation in Miami, Florida – scheduled for just a few days later – would be cancelled. However, the French luxury label, where he is in charge of menswear, says it will continue in accordance with the wishes of the late designer and his family.

A short film was released to accompany the announcement. The video follows a black boy cycling around a deserted Miami, past Key Biscayne’s Downtown and Crandon Park Beach, and perhaps most especially capturing multiple frames of the ocean blue sky. positive. The child is seen around and facing upwards, perhaps upwards. He finally reaches a red hot air balloon, jumps in to fly.

The film, which should have been made before Abloh’s death, is like a comforting and inspiring message: Youth, the boundless curiosity for which the designer is so famous is fundamental. keep him growing – and that will happen now do the same for many others.

NS only, held Tuesday night on a raised platform built outside the Miami Brutalist Maritime Stadium, is a beautiful and moving display that gently balances the gloom and celebration.

A fleet of beautiful motorboats adorned with Louis Vuitton’s signature clover blades transports guests through a picture-perfect landscape leisurely over Biscayne Bay, departing from Downtown’s northern edge heading towards south towards the event space on Virginia Key.

Kim Kardashian-West sits next to daughter North, estranged husband Kanye and musician Pharrell Williams.

Kim Kardashian-West sits next to daughter North, estranged husband Kanye and musician Pharrell Williams. Credit: Julien Da Costa

After the big star crowd has settled (Kanye West, now Ye and Pharrell Williams were among the many celebrities in attendance), and before the models emerge, the President and CEO of Louis Vuitton, Michael Burke spoke. “Virgil,” he said, choking, “wasn’t looking for the limelight, but the spotlight had found him.”

Abloh was named the first Black Art Director for Louis Vuitton menswear by Burke and LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault in 2018. His time at the house was a resounding success and into In June of this year, LVMH doubled down on its support for Abloh when it became a major investor in Off-White, the designer’s private label he founded in 2012.

Continuing his remarks, Burke added that “the idea of ​​the times” was very important to Abloh, and that the designer wanted fashion to be something that people could contemplate, dream of and realize, if they want.

A view from Louis Vuitton's Spring-Summer 2022 collection, designed by Virgil Abloh

A view from Louis Vuitton’s Spring-Summer 2022 collection, designed by Virgil Abloh Credit: Louis Vuitton

Burke’s opening words seem sincere; he said he last spoke with Abloh the night before his death, discussing the performance. It was a reminder that despite the glitz and huge investment that Louis Vuitton had invested in the event, there was real human pain underneath it all. That raw emotion was felt throughout the audience, pervading the people Abloh would likely touch in one way or another. Designers have a knack for connecting with people, and continually extend their kindness and concern to them (including this writer – as I write this, I realize that I How grateful I am for being at this appreciation event.)

The show began and models, including rapper Kid Cudi, walked the runway in a multitude of looks (the collection was shown in Paris over the summer but Tuesday night revealed a few spots). new emphasis as an additional warm-weather suit for Floridian Settings).

Checkered patches, fabulous tailored outerwear, and striking rainbow ombré fashion treatments, reminiscent of Abloh’s first show for Louis Vuitton, introduced in 2018, featured lines rainbow paint. Perhaps a gentle nod to a circle is now complete.

A rainbow look from Louis Vuitton's Spring-Summer 2022 collection, designed by Virgil Abloh

A rainbow look from Louis Vuitton’s Spring-Summer 2022 collection, designed by Virgil Abloh Credit: Louis Vuitton

When the catwalk ended, a fireworks display – in two colors red and yellow – next to a hot air balloon emblazoned with the logo of Louis Vuitton. After the finale, the crowd fell into a natural moment of silence. There was no rush to leave, as is often the case at fashion shows, and there was no rambling. Just remnants of fireworks, some wet cheeks, and a tangible, infinite reverence.

Stepping outside, Kim Kardashian West can be seen standing quietly with her young daughter North. They are both looking at a monolithic statue of Abloh that has also been installed on Marine Stadium, which will soon be backlit by a drone show that reads “Virgil has here.”

The memorial service includes a three-story tall statue of Virgil Abloh.

The memorial service includes a three-story tall statue of Virgil Abloh. Credit: Julien Da Costa

When he passed away, his family posted an image on Instagram with the caption that Abloh “used to say, ‘Everything I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself.”

North is nowhere near that age, nor is he the kid in the film, but the presence of youth is symbolic of what will probably be Abloh’s most powerful legacy, what he has set out for future generations: It is anyone, children and young people of any background or status, who can have the opportunity to achieve important things as long as their curiosity is nurtured and their hearts Their minds are opened. As Burke said at the opening of the show: “Virgil wants people to stop using their minds and start using their imaginations.”

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