In case you missed the BIG fashion news of the week, Off-White designer Virgil Abloh was officially announced as the new Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton’s Menswear. Although several people were elated expressing happiness because of the significance of such an accomplishment by a Black designer, some just couldn’t let him be great.
In a recent interview with Hypebeast, members of the fashion industry were asked what they thought about Virgil’s appointment at the luxury brand, and while we're sure commenters thought they were shining a positive light, all we could see was subliminal shade and an attack on the designer’s skills.
When asked if Virgil’s new title was a surprise, fashion critic Angelo Flaccavento said:
“The appointment is a perfect reflection of our hype — and communication — driven times. Abloh is not a design genius but he is a smart communicator. He is not the most cultured of designers but he can talk the system into believing so.”
Angelo was also asked what changes did he think Virgil will make to the brand:
“He will bring a street-oriented, younger sensibility I guess. Unless he wants to show the world he is a proper designer and goes the experimental route — which is the worst scenario.”
Later in the interview the same individuals were asked what’s the significance of this move for street wear? Joerg Koch, EIC of 032c, stated:
“The appointment of Virgil Abloh is historical because it signals street wear becoming the new establishment. The big luxury fashion groups (first Kering, now LVMH) simply act upon the market realities. Who drives the digital buzz, who creates the energy, who shops the luxury goods? It is millennials and Gen Z. Virgil Abloh was brought up by this generation and got his pulse on them. In today’s world this is more important for an established fashion house than having a designer with proper fashion education at the helm.”
Both members of the fashion industry continuously suggested that Virgil is not a “proper” designer. But we have a question – can someone please explain to us what a “proper” designer is?
Does it mean getting an education in fashion design? Using a specific design technique that would deem you proper? Let’s be honest, there’s no such thing. There’s no “proper” way to be a creative, that’s essentially what designers are. And that’s the beauty of creating. If there were mandatory specific requirements to become “proper” creatives then every designer would be a fraud due to lack of uniqueness.
Welp, there you have it people. Another example of the world not letting us be Black and great. And strike 1,000 for the fashion industry trying to push forward with diversity and inclusion, yet hindered by inexcusable ignorance.
(Photo by Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)
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