I thought I could watch the Virgil show but I can’t. Today they show what will now be Virgil final presentation. There’s so much about fashion that is about the wonder and the enjoyment of culture. today it gives me the feeling of sour candy apples, you know it’s the last but it’s for the wrong reason and you know it’s by him but nothing will be again
I remember coming into the fashion world post McQueen. I would be in University/College wondering if I would see anything new. Sitting in my dorm room researching the Antwerp 6 Rei Kawakubo and Yohji all the while making 3D models practicing my animation. Late nights with my people on Skype (yes that old) talking about the new thing I learned and telling my friend ‘They used to call Balenciaga, ‘Master of Us All’.
Later down the line I would see the Anti Fashion Movement was more of a representation of an amalgamation of underground culture from the youth. Simply the beauty of the youth and essence of Us in clothes. Then I hear the guys who ASAP Rocky were wearing [HBA x Been Trill] have a new show coming up. It’s called something like ‘Pyrex Vision 23’…
Yo bro this is about to a vibe I wonder if I can buy one …
I genuinely thought. Maybe I could afford one. I would end up selling blanks and graphic tees much later but the point is I had to see this video as soon as it dropped – this guy named VIRGIL ABLOH – say swear my man is Ghanaian and worked with Kanye. Makes sense he’s an architect right. African like me and did what I like to do. Technical design. The discipline of real world application of your art skills using human cantered design principles, this guy even knew about Dieter Rams
Little did I know Virgil would be the biggest thing in fashion for America and for European fashion
Long story short the parallels between him and I played into all my biases. I just want to put you all in a space where someone who looked like me and lived in a way I was living would create to represent me and where I come from. From what I could see they start and end with design and want to inspire the youth and express myself through design.
A way I can explain it in short is. The way in which Vivienne Westwood encapsulated punk and the way the Antwerp 6 Grunge we got Virgil Kerby Sam and Shayne developing with akin concepts based on black experience.
For 2 years indirectly and 9 years directly I followed Virgil’s story. As it was one where you know when it’s history, tell a lie, my intuition told me to look, the references told me to keep looking and the misrepresentation of what Off White and Hood By Air created made me stay. I knew for a while there needed to be someone who could translate to people what we really were looking at. Not what you thought it was because if you were as young as I was looking at this OG create for you. You’d want to protect it in the same way Europeans protect the Antwerp 6 Comme and Yohji.
Not that I don’t relate equally to European fashion but that this is the first interaction for many people of what Virgil is doing and he was unlike Sean Jean or Jordan he was the guy who watched and lived through what they did and wanted what they created (much like I to his clothes) and wanted to develop the cycle of inspiration entrenched in the fashion community.
Knowing what I knew and feeling as I did. Being in a position where all I could do was write that is very much what I did and once I saw how it was all going I would write about Virgil. I have wrote about Virgil consistently for 4 years, for one it deserved it and 2 it became a meme to entangle his essence in bounds of knots and not care for what you were creating a jest about.
So I spent hours trying to create critique and thesis around Virgil’s thesis, because it deserved it. The more the essence was understood the less I felt the need to intercede. Without those hours of streaming talking about Virgil to swing guys to neutral it would just be me writing review and reactions.
Virgil as a celebrity induced attention however he moved. As a man he could be living his life, as a celebrity he would inspire a generation, cultivate disciples and create a language of design for those who followed him can walk for years to come.
The fluidity of how he moved in business and consciousness he gave to a culture of you that that didn’t think that Fashion was for them vitalised a healthy amount of curiosity in the next generation
Outside Fundamentalists Fashion – With Hope I Transform Everything