Virgil Abloh's first show for Louis Vuitton will go down in history for a number of reasons, not the least of which is what it means to a new generation to see a Black man helming a major luxury house. And while it might be a personal career peak for Abloh himself, he went out of his way in a recent video interview with Naomi Campbell for British Vogue to credit his crew — Kanye West first and foremost — with his success.
"The one thing that has to be stressed about that show is that it actually wasn't me on the runway, you know. It was the community. That show was us," Abloh explained to Campbell. "[Kanye] willed it for us... That dream is his just as much as it's mine. In my dream, it was him down the runway."
It was this history that Abloh used to explain the much-commented-upon and quite emotional embrace he shared with West after the Louis Vuitton show concluded.
"I wanted the world to see that the guy who fought for this moment is a part of it and is uniquely linked to me doing it."
Abloh also hearkened back to his early days hanging out with West and their crew, and referenced the now-iconic photo taken by Tommy Ton outside a Comme des Garçons show roughly eight years ago. He explains that it came about because West invited him and some of their friends to come to Paris Fashion Week, "this place that we can't get in," after a conversation that began, ironically enough, in the Louis Vuitton store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Once in Paris, he says, the guys would all check out each other's outfits in the lobby before heading out and tell each other to "step it up."
"That was us saying 'Hey, we want to participate in this arena,'" he explained.
As much as he was wont to reminisce on where he's come from, Abloh sounded even more excited about where he's headed. He talked about the first Vuitton show as the beginning of his most important work, rather than its culmination.
"Now we are the establishment. I will no longer be referencing the old days and the barrier to entry, because we've... made a landscape," he said. "I'm legitimately like, 'Who can we empower next?'"