Virgil Abloh’s influence was hardly limited to his output. But his output? It was basically unparalleled. And since the designer’s death in late November, the myriad projects he was involved in are still, in waves, coming to fruition. The final Louis Vuitton collection Abloh oversaw as creative director showed yesterday at Paris Fashion Week. The collection, titled Louis Dreamhouse, animated the proverbial House That Virgil Built: the show centered around a literal house set piece, plopped on a Paris runway like Dorothy’s Kansas farmhouse in Oz. (Abloh’s earliest Vuitton collections paid homage to The Wizard of Oz and The Wiz.) An original orchestral score by Tyler, The Creator soundtracked the show, yet another testament to the foundation he laid in fashion, music, and a broader creative community.
“[Abloh] never wanted a show or a season to be monolithic in its existence,” Michael Burke, chairman and chief executive officer of Louis Vuitton, told WWD ahead of the show. “It had to be connected, in obvious and non-obvious ways, to what preceded it and what comes after.” Before the show, Vuitton announced that the house had partnered up with Nike and Sotheby’s to auction off 200 pairs of limited-edition Air Force 1s: calf leather, in the brand’s Damier check and signature monogram print, printed with Abloh’s signature quotation marks, encased in an LV-embossed, Nike-box-orange trunk. Sales from the auction, set to run online from January 26 to February 8, will benefit The Virgil Abloh™ “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund for Black fashion students. As always with Virgil, output begat input—everything is cyclical.
Further proof that Abloh was always thinking bigger, while working on so many things at once, is a new documentary short he executive produced that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this week. Sub Eleven Seconds is a 24-minute-long film shot across two days last June in Eugene, Oregon, during the U.S.A. Track and Field Olympic Trials for the rescheduled 2020 Games. The film’s title is in reference to its star and subject, track star Sha’Carri Richardson, who ran her record-breaking 100-meter trial shortly after learning of her biological mother’s death. “Time is my blessing and my curse,” Richardson says in the trailer. “On the track, I’ve been blessed to run fast. Off the track, time has cheated me. You don’t know when something or someone will be taken from you.”
“It’s bittersweet,” Mahfuz Sultan, the film’s co-producer, wrote on Instagram. “We miss dreaming with you V, we are so infinitely infinitely infinitely grateful to you.”
Earlier this week, the British designer Samuel Ross, a longtime friend of Abloh’s, showed his latest collection for A-COLD-WALL, which he created in the wake of his passing. After Abloh’s death, Ross told GQ, “I kind of went up into the countryside with my family, wearing all black, mourning, clearly, and then came back down, wearing primary colors and paint-stained garments and [feeling] this massive outpouring and gushing of expression comes to the fore.” It’s likely we’ll keep seeing bursts of Virgil’s output, directly or indirectly, for some time.