Virgil Abloh, the visionary founder and CEO of Off-White and menswear designer for Louis Vuitton, died Sunday of cancer, according to a post from his verified Instagram account.
“We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend. He is survived by his loving wife Shannon Abloh, his children Lowe Abloh and Grey Abloh, his sister Edwina Abloh, his parents Nee and Eunice Abloh, and numerous dear friends and colleagues. For over two years, Virgil valiantly battled a rare, aggressive form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma. He chose to endure his battle privately since his diagnosis in 2019, undergoing numerous challenging treatments, all while helming several significant institutions that span fashion, art, and culture. Through it all, his work ethic, infinite curiosity, and optimism never wavered,” the Instagram caption read. “Virgil was driven by his dedication to his craft and to his mission to open doors for others and create pathways for greater equality in art and design. He often said, “Everything I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself,” believing deeply in the power of art to inspire future generations.”
In a statement, Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy CEO Bernard Arnault said, “We are all shocked by this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer and a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom. The LVMH family joins me in this moment of great sorrow and we are all thinking of his loved ones on the passing of their husband, father, brother, son and friend.”
The 2021 Met Gala Red Carpet: Weird, Wonderful & Political
The Met Gala Red Carpet was rolled out on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art after a year off due to Covid-19. There were multiple show-stopping outfits from Lil Nas X while Kim Kardashian and her estranged husband Kanye West turned heads by dressing entirely in black, even their faces.
Amid the glamour, some guests highlighted social issues. The Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had ‘tax the rich’ written in red across the back of her white gown and the sports star Megan Rapinoe carried a clutch bag with the words ‘in gay we trust’.
Cactus Jack x Dior: The Creative Collab Between Kim Jones & Travis Scott Debuts in Paris
For Dior’s Spring 2022 Menswear collection, Kim Jones continued his creative partnerships that fuse different artistic and cultural influences. This time it’s Grammy-nominated rapper, songwriter, producer, businessman and designer, Travis Scott. Titled Cactus Jack x Dior — after Scott’s label, Cactus Jack Records — the collection debuted during Paris Fashion Week on Friday.
Scott has been close to the brand for a while, modelling the Air Dior capsule collection that the French fashion house developed last year with Jordan Brand. Through his Cactus Jack Foundation, founded last year, he partnered with The New School’s Parsons School of Design to establish a fashion program, launching his own scholarship program for historically black colleges and universities.
“A conversation – between two friends, two cultures, and two different eras – results in a collection that explores the identities of a groundbreaking modern musician and the heritage of one of the leading Parisian couture houses,” Dior wrote in the show notes.
According to a press release announcing the partnership, Cactus Jack x Dior is “the first full Dior collection ever created with a musician for the house.”
The collection draws from the desert landscapes of Texas, a nod to both Scott’s home state and a place house founder Christian Dior visited when he brought his debut collection to the United States in 1947. According to the show notes, Texas was an unexpected destination for the founding couturier and the grand canyons and huge dusty deserts made a lasting impression. So too did the ethos and spirit of America – in his own words, ‘the zest for life and self-confidence’.
The models appear in a desert landscape dotted with a buffalo head, giant cacti, roses and mushrooms. Bit by bit, the desert transforms into a rose garden in a nod to Christian Dior’s family home.
The colour palette features a soothing mix of dull pinks, café browns, dusty greys, creamy whites and pale blues, with pops of black and electric green, across Jones’ signature mix of exquisite tailoring and sportswear-inspired separates, and featured hybrid hats designed by Stephen Jones.
The graphics seen throughout — on prints, on embroidery, on patches — are a mix of Scott’s drawings and images from the Dior archive. There’s also collaboration within the collaboration this season, on a line of shirts hand-painted by George Condo that will be auctioned off to fund scholarships for the next generation of creatives.
What Anna Wintour’s Recent Promotion Means for Condé Nast Worldwide
Anna Wintour’s recent promotion at Condé Nast just made the influential editor even more powerful.
On Tuesday, as part of a broader strategy revamp under CEO Roger Lynch, Condé Nast announced that Wintour will become the worldwide Chief Content Officer and Global Editorial Director of Vogue — giving her final say over publications in more than 30 markets around the world — while continuing her oversight of U.S. Vogue.
The promotion gives Wintour vision over all of Condé Nast’s titles worldwide and puts her in charge of all of Vogue’s 25 global editions, on top of her longtime role as editor in chief of Vogue U.S.
Wintour is regarded as one of the most influential women in fashion. She was named Vogue’s U.S. editor in 1988 and quickly became one of the most powerful tastemakers in the fashion industry, making stars of upcoming designers while forging deep relationships with the top fashion houses. She turned the magazine into Condé Nast’s biggest moneymaker, and in 2014 she was named the company’s U.S. artistic director. Last year she joined a global leadership team to advise on global content opportunities.
For decades she has been chairwoman of the Met Gala at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, and she inspired the character played by Meryl Streep in the 2006 film “The Devil Wears Prada.”
“Anna’s appointment represents a pivotal moment for Condé Nast as her ability to stay ahead in connecting with new audiences, while cultivating and mentoring some of today’s brightest talent in the industry, has made her one of media’s most distinguished executives,” said Lynch in a statement.
Wintour’s expanded role is part of the media and publishing company’s move to install editorial leaders with a global vision for most of its brands.
Edward Enninful, the most powerful Black editor at Condé Nast, was made the head of Vogue’s editions in Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Spain. Simone Marchetti will become the European editorial director of Vanity Fair, putting him in charge of its editions in France, Italy and Spain. The American and British versions of Vanity Fair will remain under the control of Radhika Jones.
Condé Nast also announced the appointment of global editorial directors of AD (Architectural Digest), Condé Nast Traveler and GQ, with the remaining global brands to follow in early 2021. According to the company, the new editorial structure will “ensure global consistency of the brands,” including on the video front in partnership with the Condé Nast Entertainment team.
It’s been a turbulent year for Anna Wintour and Condé Naste. Amid the Black Lives Matter movement, the veteran editor was called out over lack of diversity at Vogue and was criticised by members of her own staff for fostering a workplace that sidelined women of colour. In June, Wintour herself acknowledged she had made “mistakes” by not doing enough to elevate black voices on her staff. She likewise admitted she had published images and stories that now are viewed as racially and culturally “hurtful or intolerant.”
“Undoubtedly, I have made mistakes along the way, and if any mistakes were made at Vogue under my watch, they are mine to own and remedy and I am committed to doing the work,” Wintour told the New York Times in October.
The changes come at the close of a brutal year in the media world due to COVID-19 and the drop off of advertising, particularly in print, where Condé Nast still derives the bulk of its revenue. The pandemic dashed any hope for a revival. In April, the company cut pay and furloughed staffers. In mid-May, the worsening ad crisis forced layoffs of about 100 people.
Whispers that Wintour would leave Vogue had circulated at fashion-industry parties and gossip columns for years. However, the announcement of Anna Wintour’s recent promotion seems to have dispelled that rumour as she has once again survived another round of intense criticism and seemingly emerged stronger than ever.