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Naomi Campbell, J Balvin, Venus Williams Show Up for Virgil Abloh – WWD

An inspiration. An advisor. A hardworking person. A friend. A man who left a mark on the heart.

In Virgil Abloh‘s ultimate men’s clothing collection Louis Vuitton in Paris on Thursday, everyone who crossed the street with him painted the portrait of a great designer, and an even better man.

“Remember, post-Virgil, fashion is a better place. In June 2018 it is not today. He made it ‘non-exclusive’, made it inclusive, and showed people they could play… an active role,” said Don Crawley, who co-founded RSVP Gallery with Abloh in 2009, added that it’s “hard to achieve [him] He’s a creative person, but he’s an even better human being, “the kind of guy who thinks about others” even when he’s fighting for his life. “

What Crawley treasures most about their friendship is that “we’ve traveled the world together so many times – we’ve explored the world together”.

Apparently, they showed up for Abloh all the times he showed up for them.

Like Naomi Campbellwho had arrived from Los Angeles the night before, still reeling from another loss – the death of André Leon Talley – and who had walked into Vuitton’s later “friends and family” show.

Abloh is the “greatest of all time” to rapper Skepta; who “changed fashion, even my daily life,” according to soccer player Victor Cruz; who pushed tennis star Venus Williams to “better, want more, and dream bigger.”

Big or small, he always had words of encouragement for others, a recurring theme of anecdotes.

“What I never thought I would do is skate around Louis Vuitton ” said Evan Mock, who remembers how Abloh reassured him just before the skateboarding actor entered the fall 2019 performance, “He told me it was cold, [that] it will be fine – all your homies are here, all is well.… Finally, [I said], ‘I think I can remember how to walk.’ He replied “yes, I think you can too”. “

Sitting next to Japanese street fashion pioneer and new art director Kenzo Nigo, an emotional Kim Jones thinks back to 2008, when they were “with Kanye and Virgil, in a hotel room at the Grand Hyatt work [West’s now-defunct label] Pastel. ”

When Abloh took over as Louis Vuitton’s head of menswear, Jones thought of him as “the perfect guy… in terms of culture, design, everything. He was excellent. ”

While everyone feels the need to be here for this final act, J Balvin is convinced that “he will be here forever”, thanks to the indelible mark Abloh has left.

As night fell on the city, the late designer’s friends and family went to the Carreau du Temple to see the show for a second time.

Luka Sabbat, who “had never missed a Virgil show then, and won’t miss a concert now,” is feeling the loss of his mentor. “He is my OG. He puts me in a lot of rooms that put me in great situations,” he said, explaining that in the face of so much negativity in the world, he never rushes into it. If you speak to him negatively, he will respond positively. “

Yasiin Bey, the American rapper formerly known as Mos Def, opened the show with a paper airplane throw. He then made it to the finale, playing the kalimba and singing as he walked, while Tyler, the Creator, rode on a bike.

Banks of light shined on the rooftops of the set as Abloh’s family, including wife Shannon, children Gray and Lowe, mother Eunice and sister Edwina, were engulfed by wise men.

Although many times wiped away tears, there are still smiles and unforgettable memories.

The first thought that comes to Charaf Tajer when he thinks of Abloh is “a party with everyone dancing, everyone smiling, happy,” like the night they met a decade ago at the club that Tajer had owned and where Abloh DJs one evening. “Virgil has opened so many doors that we have to pay our respects not just this time but every time.”

As the guests attended the night of Paris, Bey’s voice – the song “Umi Says” from the 1999 Mos Def album “Black on Two Sides” – ordered everyone to “light up the world… shine your light” for the world to see” It was like a final message from Abloh to keep going and practice like he did.

https://wwd.com/fashion-news/fashion-scoops/naomi-campbell-j-balvin-venus-williams-virgil-abloh-louis-vuitton-1235044162/ Naomi Campbell, J Balvin, Venus Williams Show Up for Virgil Abloh – WWD

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