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After visiting a Virgil Abloh memorial in Brooklyn this week, we’ve been thinking a lot about his work. For fans of Abloh who won’t be able to attend this exhibit in Brooklyn before it closes on May 31, we’ve included some photos and videos from our visit below.
Upon the death of the legendary fashion designer in November 2021, the Wall Street Journal noted that Abloh “had achieved a level of global fame and adoration that is unusual if not unprecedented in fashion.”
From his tenure as Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton to the founding of his iconic, high-end streetwear brand Off-White, Abloh made an indelible mark on the fashion world. That world has been appropriating Black culture for a long time, and as a Black designer, Abloh brought a bold vision, authenticity and joy to the fashion industry. Without a doubt, he was the single most influential designer of his generation, and his death from cancer at age 41 shocked the world.
If that’s not enough indication of how well Abloh was revered amongst his peers in the fashion and entertainment industry, the memorials and tributes that have followed since his passing also speak volumes about his impact on the creative world. Louis Vuitton paid tribute to Abloh in Miami during the preview of its Spring/Summer 2022 Collection, which was Abloh’s final project with the brand, on November 30.
More recently, Louis Vuitton hosted a new tribute to Abloh at the Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse in Brooklyn, New York. The immersive exhibit memorializes Abloh and showcases the many Nike Air Force 1 sneakers he designed in collaboration with Louis Vuitton and Nike. Abloh was a big fan of the Air Force 1, and the bespoke sneakers on display in Brooklyn are the perfect encapsulation of his legacy, which brought street fashion and high fashion together.
The new exhibit runs through May 31 and is free to the public, and SPY was lucky enough to visit the memorial recently.
The exterior of the warehouse, painted in the hue of an orange Nike shoebox, featured a similarly colored breakdancing statue, blending Abloh’s love of Black culture, fashion, art and music.
The interior space — painted with billowy clouds and quotes from Abloh — was something of a memorial and an art gallery.
Abloh’s death was tragic, but the designer will have a lasting influence, and not just in fashion.
While most know him as a fashion icon, not as many people know about his contributions to music and other art forms. Abloh served as Creative Director of Jay-Z and Kanye West’s legendary 2011 Watch the Throne tour and was also named to a DJ residency at Wynn Las Vegas in 2019, making him a marvel in the entertainment world as well.
In exploring the Virgil Abloh Memorial, visitors can see “47 bespoke editions of the Nike Air Force 1 sneakers created by Abloh in partnership with Nike for Louis Vuitton.” These designs were mostly showcased through wall and tabletop displays accompanied by an immersive and dreamy production that included dozens of 3D holograms of each Air Force 1 style.
The Virgil Abloh Memorial can be visited at 73 West Street in Brooklyn, NY. Free to attend, the exhibit will be open 10 a.m.– 9 p.m. until May 31.
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