As the fashion world grieves this week’s loss of Andre Leon Talley, a final celebration of another recently-departed icon, the late Virgil Abloh, hit the runway at Paris Fashion Week on Thursday.
Louis Vuitton had shown off some of Abloh’s final designs in Miami shortly after his passing but as CNN reported, those creations were for the Spring/Summer 2022 collection. Abloh had apparently already finished work on his winter designs, which were unveiled at the Paris show.
The catwalk’s unfolding was a team effort spearheaded by Ib Kamara, the Sierra Leone-born multidisciplinary creative and editor-in-chief of the fashion publication Dazed. Kamara, whose high-profile styling gigs have included Fenty ads for Rihanna and numerous international Vogue covers, began collaborating with Abloh ahead of Louis Vuitton’s Spring-Summer 2021 collection. Since then, he has styled Louis Vuitton menswear runway shows as well as campaigns.
Over a Zoom call from Paris, Kamara spoke candidly about the process . “We wanted to keep it where we thought Virgil was with us, but push it to where Virgil would’ve taken it,” he said. “One of the most brilliant things about the man was that he could introduce starkly new ideas every season, but that these ideas also intertwined with seasons from the past.”
While his last clothing collection is begin celebrated, an Abloh-inspired Nike sneaker auction is also planned to raise funds of his foundation.
Two hundred pairs of the luxury sneakers will be sold in an auction that runs from Jan, 26 through Feb. 8, with the proceeds going to Abloh’s scholarship fund for Black fashion students. Each pair sold at auction, in sizes ranging from 5 through 18, will come with an orange embossed pilot case that features a 3D leather tag and white Swoosh. While the designer was originally involved with the early organization stages of the upcoming auction, it will now take place in association with Abloh’s family.
Following the auction, additional pairs will be made available through a retail launch exclusively at Louis Vuitton stores worldwide. While details are scarce, Louis Vuitton has confirmed that all 47 colorways designed by Abloh will be featured in an exhibition at a later date.
Talley, Vogue’s former creative director and a constant tastemaker in the world of fashion, died on Tuesday at age 73. His death was a second, unexpected blow after Abloh, artistic director at Louis Vuitton, succumbed to cancer at age 41 in November.