Virgil Abloh was a workaholic, often crafting several projects, in various timezones, all at once – with ideas pinged across WhatsApp and slid into the Insta DMs of his collaborators across the globe. Still, despite living life at rapid speed, the late designer created every collection like it was his last, pouring his all into whatever he masterminded, be it a rug designed for Ikea or a blockbuster fashion film for Louis Vuitton.
It seems fair to view Abloh’s latest pre-fall offering not as his final collection, but as a glimpse into where his vision was heading next. Designed and photographed prior to the designer’s shock passing on November 28, Abloh was focused on simultaneously embracing and remoulding the “normalcy” that’s usually tied to pre-collections: celebrating “the idea of commercialism rather than deny it the way fashion tends to”.
In Abloh fashion, street- formal- and workwear bleed into one, genre-less vision, where royal purple, leather tracksuits sit alongside denim suits and Damier-checked windbreakers and holdalls.
The idea of boyhood has been defining factor of Abloh’s vision for LV. “What makes menswear? Boys do. I believe that building blocks stacked upon each other through our lives form the narrative of what defines menswear,” he is quoted as saying. Amongst the youth-inspired details here are crocheted bucket hats, loosely-cut cargo trousers and graffitied beekeeper veils designed with artist Ghusto Leon. It represents a constant strive for innovation, yet a profound knowledge in pushing product with international appeal. It’s no easy feat, yet Abloh was no ordinary man.
Photography courtesy of Louis Vuitton.