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Louis Vuitton presents the latest Virgil Abloh collection in Paris

Louis Vuitton pays homage this Thursday to Virgil Abloh, the visionary artistic director of menswear, died of cancer last November at the age of 41, at present his latest collection in Paris, while still not knowing who will be chosen to succeed him at the head of the firm.

Just two days after the American couturier's death, Miami hosted a spectacular fashion show on November 30, which stars like Rihanna, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Bella Hadid, Pharrell Williams attended and the family Arnault, owner of the LVMH group.

The fashion house is now continuing the tribute to the late designer in Paris, headquarters of the firm, with two face-to-face fashion shows in which the covid regulations will be followed and the public will be able to sit in one of every two seats to respect the distance.

“The collection that going to see this Thursday I was “95% ready” before the death of Virgil Abloh, explained Michael Burke, CEO of Louis Vuitton, in an interview with 'WWD', an American media outlet specializing in fashion.

Tribute to his legacy

Perhaps this is the reason why Louis Vuitton has not wanted to advance anything on who will succeed him as creative director, which has opened all kinds of speculation.

“It is a choice that will require audacity as it was Virgili's choice”, analyzes Serge Carreira, professor at Sciences Po, interviewed by AFP. “There is a Virgil Abloh dynamic that is still there, there is no urgency to find a successor.”

The only black designer to hold a position at this level in a luxury home, as well as Olivier Rousteing at Balmain, this multifaceted architect and DJ “embodied a new way of understanding fashion that also includes culture, society, great movements and a mixture of everything or mix everything”, Carreira points out.

The election of the successor will have that respect the heritage of Abloh, who denounced racism and had campaigned for an inclusive society since his first parade for Vuitton and n Paris in 2018, entitled 'We are the World', where the models parade with a rainbow crossing the gardens of the Palais Royal.

Thousand collaborations

Author of multiple collaborations ranging from Nike to Evian and Ikea passing through exhibitions with Japanese visual artist Takashi Murakami, “I took less elitist references and with a much broader field of expression”, adds the expert.

“Virgil showed how to be multidisciplinary and not be afraid to create what you want. It was really powerful. That's why it had the impact it had on so many people's lives,” subscribes Bianca Saunders, a London-based stylist with Afro-Caribbean roots who walked the runway this Wednesday at the Paris Fashion Week

She is looking forward to attending the Vuitton show to “honor the legacy” of Virgil Abloh, whom she met. “He was a very nice person,” she recalls.

Solidarity sale of shoes

Between the potential black candidates who could succeed him, his former collaborators have been cited Samuel Ross

and Heron Preston, the artistic director of Reebok, Kerby Jean-Raymond, the British stylist Grace Wales Bonner and even the rapper and designer Kanye West

, friend of Abloh.

The names of the “unemployed” creators have also been mentioned Kris van Assche, after his departure from Berluti, and Daniel Lee, who left Bottega Veneta, but also Riccardo Tisci ( Burberry, ex-Givenchy).

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“Virgil Abloh was a figure of diversity, of promoting the talent of designers of color. It is a symbolic issue, but the issue concerns the fashion industry as a whole, more than Vuitton in particular”, considers Carreira.

In addition to the fashion shows, Louis Vuitton has teamed up with Sotheby's for the charity auction of 200 pairs of Louis Vuitton and Nike 'Air Force 1' sneakers designed by Virgil Abloh, with a starting price of $2,000. Proceeds will be donated to his Post-Modern' Foundation, which helps with scholarships and supports the education of promising African-American and Afro-descendant students.

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