The show, titled ‘Virgil Was Here,’ was held in Miami, Florida yesterday, heralding Abloh’s final collection for the iconic LVMH-owned French fashion house, in his former role as artistic director of menswear.
Louis Vuitton announced Abloh’s tribute presentation on Instagram days before it took place, via a caption citing a message from Louis Vuitton’s Chairman and CEO, Michael Burke.
The caption read: ‘It is with profound sorrow that I learned of the passing of Virgil Abloh. Virgil was not only a friend, great collaborator, creative genius, visionary and disruptor, but also one of the best cultural communicators of our times. He paved the way for future generations. As a devoted supporter of his community through his charities and passions, he was an eternal optimist who believed anything was possible. In this same spirit, we at Louis Vuitton will proudly continue to celebrate his legacy with a final show in Miami, per his wishes. I am honored to have called him my friend. My deepest thoughts are with his wife, children, parents, family and the entire community that was touched by his greatness.’
A host of stars were seen gathered at the presentation’s botanical, tree-filled outdoor setting, complete with a large statue of Abloh in fluorescent hues, evoking the late designer’s futuristic aesthetic.
Kim Kardashian - who attended the presentation with estranged husband Kanye West (a close friend and colleague of the late Abloh, who once served as Ye's Creative Director) along with their eight-year-old daughter North West - shared moments from the presentation, which also showed Abloh’s initials floating in the sky.
When it came to the clothes that made their way down the runway, there was precision-cut tailoring, fluorescent outerwear and punchy patterns, all referencing Abloh’s legacy as a true fashion visionary.
The presentation highlighted Abloh's finely-tuned attention to detail, knack for haute-streetwear and commitment to staying ahead of the zeitgeist.
As well as the upbeat clothes, the positive atmosphere cemented the mood.
As the presentation drew to a close, the lights went out for a moment, as a voiceover with a quote from Abloh was read out it, which said: ‘There’s no limit. Life is so short that you can’t waist even a day, subscribing to what someone thinks you can do versus knowing what you can do.’
Things soon took a dramatic turn as fluorescent lights panned the location before guests at the presentation were treated to a beautiful firework display.
The show, also witnessed by the likes of Rihanna, Bella Hadid, DJ Khaled, Joe Jonas and Pharrell Williams, kicked off at 5.30pm, after guests were ferried to its location via yachts.
Abloh, who passed away from a rare form of heart cancer, will forever be honoured for his contribution to the fashion industry and his philanthrophy which allowed many other young creatives the chance to follow in his footsteps.
At The Fashion Awards on Monday, Idris Elba honoured Abloh with a personal speech and the recitation of Maya Angelou's poem 'When Great Trees Fall'
He said: 'I lost a friend... the fashion industry lost a legend, and the world lost a special human being.'
Abloh will be remembered for ‘his work ethic, infinite curiosity, and optimism’, as the caption reads on his official Instagram account, as will his deep belief in and ‘the power of art to inspire future generations.’
Abloh unveiled his first show for Louis Vuittion during Paris Fashion Week, where he debuted the house's spring/summer 2019 menswear collection, at the Palais Royale.
The show was a pinnacle time in the French house’s history, as he ushered in 'the next chapter of design and luxury,’ as Abloh himself put it, to the New York Times.
This final collection from Abloh perfectly resonated with what he started.
The family-run LVMH group, who owns Louis Vuitton, regarded Abloh as ‘not only a genius designer, a visionary,' but, 'also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom’.
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