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Virgil Abloh honoured in his final fashion collection show in Miami

Louis Vuitton honoured Virgil Abloh at his last fashion collection show in Miami on Tuesday, just days after his sudden death prompted an outpouring of tributes for the industry’s most high-profile black designer.

Drones formed Abloh’s initials and spelled out the words “Virgil was here” in the sky outside Miami’s Marine Stadium where the memorial event was held. There was also a giant statue of Abloh.

Chicago-based rapper Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi walked the runway before a live audience that included streetwear designer Don Crawley, known as Don C, Kim Kardashian and rapper ASAP Ferg, according to Instagram posts.

As the show began, roughly 16,000 viewers tuned in to watch on YouTube.

Models were clad in Vuitton jerseys, while others wore black top hats, bright red jumpsuits and blue suits. Female models carried blue and pink lockbox purses, while the men sported grey duffle bags.

Abloh, the American-born son of Ghanaian immigrants, died Sunday at age 41 following a private battle with cancer. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton decided to move ahead with a catwalk show that had been in the works, transforming it into a tribute to Abloh.

Kendall Reynolds, chief executive of Kendall Miles Designs, said in an interview before the show that Abloh had inspired her to start the luxury brand of Italian handcrafted products.

“His indelible mark on the disruption of traditional European fashion houses will be a legacy that all young designers, like myself, can learn from,” she said.

The 45-minute livestream of the show closed with an eruption of fireworks and a recording of Abloh’s voice.

“There’s no limit,” said Abloh in the recording. “Life is so short that you can’t waste even a day subscribing to what someone thinks you can do versus knowing what you can do.”

Reuters

The most memorable looks from the Fashion Awards 2021

The glitterati gathered at the Fashion Awards in London on Monday to celebrate the best and brightest in the fashion industry.

Designers and celebrities paid tribute to Virgil Abloh at the awards, where the late Louis Vuitton and Off-White creative force was honoured as a leader of change within the industry.

Abloh, the American-born son of Ghanaian immigrants, who became fashion’s highest-profile Black designer, died on Sunday following a two-year battle with a rare form of cancer.

The 41-year-old, who also worked as a DJ and visual artist, had been menswear artistic director at luxury label Louis Vuitton since March 2018.

“Genius, disruptor … [he] will be missed tremendously by all,” veteran designer Tommy Hilfiger said on the red carpet. “He inspired designers as well as the public.”

Designer and television personality Tan France called Abloh “incredible and a visionary … [who] has done the most beautiful work.”

Abloh, who founded label Off-White, was known for mixing streetwear with high-end suits and gowns while at Vuitton. His influences included graffiti art and hip hop.

“Everyone here is going to be talking about Virgil, everyone here has been impacted by his brilliance,” actor Gabrielle Union said.

At the awards, where Abloh’s photo was projected on stage, the designer was among 15 individuals and brands named leaders of change for their actions in the past year helping the environment, people and creativity.

Others on the list included Balenciaga designer Demna Gvasalia, Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele, and Kim Jones, artistic director for Fendi womenswear and couture as well as menswear designer at Dior. Jones was also named designer of the year at the awards.

Michele also won the trailblazer award, while Hilfiger received the outstanding achievement award.

“I’m absolutely grateful, appreciative, humbled by it, but happy to be here and happy to still keep the business rolling,” Hilfiger, 70, said.

Demi Moore, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Dua Lipa were among the celebrity guests attending the event, a fundraiser for British Fashion Council charities.

See our favourite looks from the Fashion Awards red carpet below:

Reuters, STYLE