For the late, great Off-White designer Virgil Abloh, the brand’s Fall/Winter 2022 collection, titled “Spaceship Earth: An Imaginary Experience,” served as a posthumous swan song for the gifted creative and his otherworldly talent.
Kicking off Paris Fashion Week at the Palais Brongniart, industry legends gathered to bid farewell to Abloh, after he unexpectedly died in November of 2021 at the age of 41 from a rare form of cancer. The Off-White founder and the first Black Louis Vuitton artistic director has been lauded for his revolutionary work within the fashion industry.
After helming the menswear category at French fashion house Louis Vuitton, the maison has hosted two tributes to their late designer in the wake of his passing. First, in Miami just two days after his death, and again in Paris last month, with iconic supermodel and friend of Alboh, Naomi Campbell walking in his last show.
Taking to the runway again in honor of Abloh’s work for Off-White, Campbell joined her fellow ‘90s fashion icons including Cindy Crawford, Amber Valletta, Helena Christensen, Karen Elson and Debra Shaw to mark his tribute at the Fall/Winter 2022 Off-White show. Other big names, such as Crawford’s daughter Kaia Gerber, Bella and Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Adut Akech also walked the runway. Friends of the brand joined the show too, such as record-breaking tennis player Serena Williams (who made an impact with her Off-White outfit at the French Open in 2019).
With stars like Rihanna, A$AP Rocky, Pharrell Williams and his family, and Iris and Sabrina Elba in the front row, members of the fashion community were in attendance. CEOs of Louis Vuitton, and the New Guards Group made appearances as well as other designers, including Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing, Jonathan Anderson, Guram Gvasalia, and Alboh’s past collaborator Givenchy’s Matthew Williams to pay respect to a fellow master of the craft.
Not only showing ready-to-wear, Off-White’s Fall/Winter assortment also including a new venture for the brand — a new high-fashion line with haute couture elements. On the catwalk, Abloh’s signature quotation marks couldn’t be missed, with the words, “Little Black Dress” on Jenner’s sequined LBD, “Respectfully” emblazoned on Campbell’s duster, “Smoking” written across the back of Elson’s smoking jacket, and Bella’s bridal headband reading, “1st is for love.”
Possibly hinting at Abloh’s secret battle with cancer, Crawford held two bags, one adoring the words “More Life” and the other filled with red and white pills. With statement headwear, veiled faces, crushed velvet, and voluminous tiered tulle skirts, Abloh’s signature design codes were intact as white flags waved reminding viewers to, “Question Everything.”
Off-White was Abloh’s personal brainchild, and his accomplishments with the line broke the mold and made the industry reevaluate what high-fashion really encompassed. Elevating streetwear to the highest echelons of the luxury market, the Chicago native’s creative genius has been felt far and wide. Often considered to be the Karl Lagerfeld of his generation, his indescribable influence will do go down in history.