Virgil Abloh is being honoured this week throughout Off-white stores across the world. Stores in London, Paris and Seoul, Hong Kong, Miami, New York and Tokyo have removed shelves of merchandise, clothing and homeware and replaced them with floral bloom installations.
Palms and jungle leaves decorate the walls, whilst daisies, thistles, gerberas and snapdragons carpet the floors – a tribute evocative of the label’s SS20 show.
Fans of the late designer have taken to his flagship outposts to graffiti heartfelt messages on windows and post-it notes scattered across the greenery.
“Virgil Forever” is looping on LED message boards and store fronts, emblazoned with some of Virgil’s most favourite quotes. One reads,
“Life is so short you can’t waste even a day subscribing to what someone thinks you can do versus knowing what you can do”.
An Instagram caption from Off-White reads, “In a world where kindness is rare, where hierarchies still carry weight and where fashion can change the rules but sometimes ends up creating new ones, there was you,”
“You changed the system with your genius, your humility and your authenticity. you led by example. you taught and inspired millions of young people and filled our days with the energy and optimism of those who want to change the world for the better.”
Abloh passed away from an aggressive form of heart cancer. Following a two-year battle, Abloh died on November 28, 2021, at the age of 41, in Chicago.
The American fashion designer was the CEO of the Milan-based label off-white, which he founded in 2013. It was announced in March 2018 that Abloh would become the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s men’s wear collection.
Since, the tributes have been flowing. Celebrities such as Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Frank Ocean and other creatives have come in to honour Abloh’s creative spirit and mentorship.
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) November 29, 2021
Virgil Was Here
In accordance with Virgil Abloh’s wishes, Louis Vuitton showcased his final collection in Miami just days after his death. The SS22 presentation, titled “Virgil Was Here,” served as a send-off for the trailblazing designer, as well as a testament to his outlook on work and creativity.
Louis Vuitton pays homage to Virgil Abloh at the fashion show for his final collection. pic.twitter.com/9bDh3dH0zK
— Rap Alert (@rapalert4) December 1, 2021
The uplifting celebration of Abloh’s seventh collection became a meaningful tribute to the late designer.
“Oh boy — this is the hardest speech I have ever given,”
Chairman and chief executive officer of Louis Vuitton, Michael Burke, tells the crowd of around 1,500 people.
Despite Abloh’s private battle with cancer, he’s said to have worked on the collection until the very end, teasing it on Instagram only four days before his death.
Virgil Abloh’s attitude has as much influence as his designs. Following his death, his most memorable quotes have been shared by friends and fans alike. His incisive statements include comments about the fashion industry, life lessons, and the assertion that “you can do it too”.
The label chose to round out his last show with a snippet of his voice, as members of his design team gathered to mourn the loss.
Before the sky was lit up by fireworks, Abloh’s quote reverberated through the darkness by the port of Miami. “There’s no limit. Life is so short that you can’t waste even a day… Subscribing to what someone thinks you can do, versus knowing what you can do.”
Watch the show below:
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