Countless tributes have poured in to honor globally recognized fashion designer Virgil Abloh, who lost his two-year battle to a rare and aggressive cancer Sunday at the age of 41.
Now, honoring the legend’s final wishes, Louis Vuitton officials will pay their respects by “letting the show go on” with a presentation of their artistic director’s Spring-Summer 2022 menswear collection just before sunset tonight (Tuesday) at Miami Marine Stadium.
Key Biscayne residents can expect “rush hour” traffic on the Rickenbacker Causeway to be heavier than usual before and after the 5:30 p.m. fashion show, entitled “Virgil Was Here.”
The event will take place on a barge speckled with birch trees parked outside the Miami Marine Stadium, where the audience will be able to poetically view the Miami skyline reflected in the waters of the south channel.
According to reports, Abloh was originally scheduled to attend the event at the Stadium and celebrate the opening of Louis Vuitton’s first dedicated men’s store in the U.S., in the Miami Design District, following last year’s opening of the first store in Tokyo.
In fact, his passion was evident when he posted a teaser on Instagram this past week that said: “Miami, I have an idea ...”
In a statement by the company, Louis Vuitton “will proudly continue to celebrate his legacy with a final show in Miami, per his wishes.”
Abloh, whose 2022 collection of new looks was first unveiled in Paris and then Shanghai, based his designs on streetwear, often saying, “Everything I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself” to inspire future generations.
The American-born son of immigrants from Ghana, Abloh reportedly studied architecture before becoming the fashion industry’s highest profile Black designer turned streetwear into a luxury brand upon his arrival to Louis Vuitton in 2018.
His long-time friend and collaborator, Kanye West, dedicated the recent Sunday Service to him. Abloh even earned a Grammy nomination for his artwork on the rapper’s “Watch the Throne” album with Jay-Z.
Among the messages by celebrities:
Donatella Versace: “Virgil, I am lost for words. The world has lost a fashion superstar. An innovator. A creator for the history books.”
Ralph Lauren: “Virgil Abloh had a unique curiosity & passion that inspired his life, his creativity & his dreams. It is a shock when someone so young & with such powerful talent is suddenly taken from us.”
Pharrell Williams: “... your work as a human and your work as a spiritual being will live forever ... you’re with the Master now, shine.”
Hailey Bieber: “Virgil completely changed the way I looked at street style and fashion ... I will never be able to fully express how grateful I am to have known him and worked with him, from walking on his runways to having him design my wedding dress ...”
Kim Kardashian West: “God doesn’t make mistakes. I know that but I still can’t help but ask why. Why Virgil?! Why him so soon? I have a hard time understanding why so many pure souls were taken away so early ...”
The event at Miami Marine Stadium follows the company’s forward thinking, especially since the pandemic had restricted international travel.
“We’re not flying people to events, we’re taking events to people,” Louis Vuitton Chairman and CEO Michael Burke said. “It was our vision of how fashion would be communicated in the future.”
The Louis Vuitton fashion house and luxury goods company was founded in Paris in 1854.