Virgil Abloh, a Ghanaian-American menswear fashion designer, interned at Fendi before his distinguished debut with Louis Vuitton. Abloh interned with Kayne West at the luxury Italian fashion house in 2009. The two worked regular nine-to-five work hours, [got] their supervisors coffee, and [did] a lot of photocopying with pay of $500 a month.
However, Kanye West said, “we interned at Fendi but we ain’t do sh*t. We ain’t get to do nothing, man. I was just happy to have a key card.” Maybe Abloh learned something that West didn’t? Clearly, Abloh’s work and networking paid off.
Michael Burke, the CEO of Fendi in 2009, said on the two men’s behalf, “I was really impressed with how they brought a whole new vibe to the studio and were disruptive in the best way.” Today, Burke followed Virgil’s career over the last nine years and is currently, the chief executive of Louis Vuitton.
Today, Abloh, the new artistic director of Louis Vuitton Homme, debuted his spring ’19 menswear collection at Paris Men’s Fashion Week. His first 17 looks were all white, which he intended as a palette cleanser. He stated, “I wanted to remove [color] from that excitement, to let the eye adjust to see what I’m bringing to all the hype and hysteria.” The 38 year-old founded his streetwear label, Off-White, three years ago in 2015. The success of his label is what skyrocketed him to fame.
According to the Financial Times, “the opening look was a white double-breasted suit with two-pleat pants. The cut was roomy, in line with Abloh’s stated desire to address body image in the collection.”
“Abloh concentrated on some purposefully boring looks. The most fantastically boring look [he] sent out was an oversized pale denim shirt worn with pale denim jeans that pooled over the foot. Equally boring, and equally good, was a black cotton jumpsuit, sitting loose from the body. Real clothes! Such a rarity,” the Financial Times stated.
At the end of the show, Abloh stood for photos…a flashback to when he and West came with three friends to attend the men’s shows in Paris [in 2009]. Back then, they had no professional connection to the industry; they were just superfans of fashion. After inviting his friends including West to the debut at Louis Vuitton, he said, “it is like the best full circle.”
Here is a video by Takashi Murakami of Abloh and West expressing their friendship and love with a hug and tears of joy. West’s wife, Kim Kardashian West, and sister-in-law, Kylie Jenner, are also seen in the video standing in support of Abloh’s success.