Virgil Abloh’s Swansong Collection for Louis Vuitton

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“There’s no limit and life is so short”: just days after his tragic death, Louis Vuitton paid tribute to the late artistic director’s life and legacy

Last night, just days after his tragic passing, Louis Vuitton unveiled Virgil Abloh’s final ever collection. The Spring/Summer 2022 show – titled Virgil Was Here – was a moving tribute to the brand’s artistic director, who insisted that the show be held post-humously. “[Virgil] was an eternal optimist who believed anything was possible,” said Michael Burke, Louis Vuitton’s Chairman and CEO, in a statement. “In this same spirit, we at Louis Vuitton will proudly continue to celebrate his legacy with a final show in Miami, per his wishes.”

The show was a heartfelt celebration of Abloh’s boundless creative vision. Set on the Miami coast, overlooking the Atlantic ocean, the presentation was shadowed by a looming red hot air balloon – a nod to the artistic director’s stratospheric ambitions and ascendant legacy. A giant multicoloured statue of Abloh, wearing his signature oversized sunglasses, was also present, with its gaze towards the stars. 

“I’ve been on this focus ... of getting adults to behave like children again, that they go back into this sense of wonderment,“ said the designer in a prerecorded voiceover. “[That] they stop using their mind, and start using their imagination.” From there, the lights rose, with models weaving through the tree-scattered runway. The designs were characteristically playful, seesawing between multiple binaries – grace and irreverence, masculine and feminine, smart and casual. Immaculately tailored suits were finished with elongated hats; majestic tulle with cartoonish ear muffs. It was a fitting final collection for Abloh, who built a career from bulldozing boundaries. “I don’t believe in genres, or disciplines of creativity, I like when they blur,” he told AnOther earlier this year. “I want to see this as a renaissance. I want to see some non-genre-defining amazingness, because I believe that our generation has that.”

The show ended with the Louis Vuitton team pouring onto the runway, wiping away tears, before a firework display in honour of Abloh lit up the sky. In the closing minutes, a final voiceover was played: “There’s no limit, and life is so short,” intoned the designer. “You can’t waste even a day subscribing to what someone thinks you can do versus knowing what you can do.”

Watch the full stream of the show below: