The recent passing of Virgil Abloh, a Ghanaian American multi-hyphenate who changed the face of the global fashion industry, came as a shock to all. From being the first black artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear to bringing the street to the catwalk with his leading brand Off-White and breaking down doors for young black creatives to enter industries. It comes as no surprise that Teen Vogue‘s latest cover documents his life and legacy with words from the black creatives he worked alongside.
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One of the creatives to pay homage to Abloh’s rich legacy is Ghanaian painter Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe, whose portrait of Abloh now appears on the cover of this issue.
Creative Director of Alaska Alaska (Abloh’s London-based design firm) Tawanda Chiweshe, who was backstage after Virgil Abloh’s first show as the artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear in 2018, had this to say:
Within our studio practice, Virgil brought an ethos that made us a blank canvas, as well as a Black canvas. We approached projects from the lens of Black culture to both advance and challenge the design world to be more inclusive by bringing along friends, colleagues, and communities.
Virgil Abloh was a truly exceptional creative force and designer. His contributions to the fashion world serve as a blueprint for future Black creators, while his philanthropic contributions ensure his legacy will endure through the lives he touched.
According to the publication:
In 2020, Abloh established the “Post Modern” Scholarship Fund in partnership with the Fashion Scholarship Fund to help Black students in art and design programs. Pre-“Post Modern,” Abloh had mentored a group of now-notable Black designers and entrepreneurs including Samuel Ross and Heron Preston, as well as Frost, someone who he discovered in New York’s streetwear scene. In true Abloh fashion, he extended an Off-White collaboration to Frost and his creative collective, Spaghetti Boys.
Olivia Singer, Global Editorial Director of i-D Magazine, told Teen Vogue:
Virgil fully understood the trickle-down effect of treating everyone in this world with love and compassion. The way he operated never failed to blow me away – the way that he found time for everyone, and maintained the same genuine level of enthusiasm for seeing the creative output of young creatives as he did cultural legends. I learned a huge amount from him, and I am one of many, many people who will carry those lessons with me forever.
Read the complete issue on www.teenvogue.com