Assouline and Louis Vuitton just released the first ever book about Virgil Abloh. The visionary African-American designer passed away last year on November 28, 2021 after a battle against cancer. This wonderful book opens with the words of Mickael Burke, Chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton, “so much about Virgil Abloh set him apart from other fashion designers”.
Louis Vuitton: Virgil Abloh is the testament of a relationship that changed the course of fashion history. Virgil Abloh started as Men’s Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton in June 2018. It marked the starting point of the beginning of a luxury new era including inclusivity, diversity and empowerment. The book written by his close collaborator Anders Christian Madsen offers an intimate incursion in the life of a great man born to break boundaries, not only in fashion but also in art, design, architecture and music. “Virgil was not only a designer of genius, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful, sound and great wisdom.” Bernard Arnault.
He knew he would change the history of fashion. When he entered Louis Vuitton, with no background and training in fashion, he already changed this history. A black creative outsider who became a breakthrough icon. “As a black man in a French luxury house, I am well aware of my responsibilities. Rather than preaching about it, I hope to lead by example and unlock the door for future generations. I believe in making my mark with poise, style and grace”.
The book is divided into eight chapters, one for each of the eight Louis Vuitton menswear collections and shows what Virgil created. The complete catalogue of the designer’s sneakers — Louis Vuitton: Virgil Abloh deep-dives readers into a singular, kite-flying, rainbow-colored world filled with rich cultural reference points and narratives, from The Wizard of Oz and James Baldwin to ‘90s hip-hop style and a mind-bending 1969 drum solo. 320 iconic images and personal quotes from his closest circle as Naomi Campbell, Luka Sabbat, Kendall Jenner, and more and his own quotes or as it is called “Abloh-isms”. From his first campaign for Louis Vuitton shot by Inez & Vinoodh which features a three-year-old girl dressed in a sample-sized Yellow Brick Road sweater from the spring-summer 2019 collection to his last posthume show presented in Miami on the last day of November 2021. We all have in mind this picture of the red hot-air ballon and the giant statue of Virgil, and one message floating in the sky of Miami at the finale of the spring-summer 2022: “Virgil was here”.
Two collectible covers of the book are offered. One taken from the Louis Vuitton’s spring-summer 2022 spin-off show in Miami with an image of a young child bounding towards a striking red Louis Vuitton hot air balloon and the other sports cartoon artwork by cultural artist Reggieknow, who illustrated the now cult characters for Virgil’s spring-summer 2021 show.
The book is also available in an Ultimate Collection featuring a separate insert that serves as a compendium for every single sneaker Virgil designed for Louis Vuitton, including this year’s new Air Force 1s.
“There is no limit. Life is so short that you can’t waste time even one day subscribing to what someone thinks you can do versus knowing what you can do”. We should all remember this quote from genius Abloh who lost his life too young at the age of 41.