It's been ten years since Virgil Abloh first took fashion by storm. After starting out in architecture, this lover of Chicago embarked on a career as atypical as it is inspiring. After forging a deep friendship and working collaboration with rapper Kanye West, he took his first steps in fashion by infusing it with his beloved street style. If you take street art and graffiti, the looks sported by nineties American rappers, and an innate passion for clothing, mix it all up and you get a style icon for an entire generation. So much more than a fashion designer, he has become a role model for many young fashion enthusiasts, who previously felt neglected by an industry they love. If proof of his impact were needed, he was appointed artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear collections in 2018, while his Off-White label, with its provocative, maverick feel, was also on the rise. This appointment was so rare that it became a historic step in the representation of people of colour in the Parisian fashion industry, many seeing it as the start of a revolution.
Determined to shine on every level, he did not neglect his Off-White label. Driven by his keen sense of design and image (which he also applies to decorative objects), Off-White is modern-day proof that fashion can be sarcastic and respected, nay, worshipped. Words emblazoned on boots tell us that they're "for rainy days", zip ties are looped onto Out of Office sneakers, holes are added to the Burrow bags and Meteor mules, and so, so much more. Since his untimely death, the mantle that is Virgil Abloh's unique – and political – vision has been passed to Ib Kamara, the label's new artistic director. A rising figure in the fashion world, and already hailed for his work as editor-in-chief of Dazed magazine, his appointment at Off-White is reassuring: Virgil was here, and his spirit and creativity will forever remain.