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Generation Z sends a letter to Virgil Abloh

Explaining why the designer became an icon

Generation Z sends a letter to Virgil Abloh  Explaining why the designer became an icon

Dear Virgil,

Supreme is my Louis Vuitton”.

This is what you said two years ago during a GQ interview, while behind you sat Ian Connor, Heron Preston and Luke Sabbat who were playing on some office chairs.

Before writing this letter I searched for some inspiration online. YouTube was the answer. I saw you create, innovate, you were treated like a true icon. “Supreme is my Louis Vuitton” couldn’t go unnoticed. In just one phrase you explained who you are, what your style is, what your art is. This is the fashion you make, Virgil. Streetwear and couture go hand in hand today, blending in an era where there’s just one word defining all types of fashion: street. Kim Jones, Louis Vuitton's artistic director, says: “Fashion must be worn on the street”. There are no boundaries, obstacles, crossroads, there are no distinctions: fashion is on the street, it’s up to us to interpret it.

Virgil Abloh, you joined this trend when, in 2013, you founded Off-White. Off-White isn’t just my favourite brand, it’s not just a symbol, Off-White is much more: it’s a concept of fashion itself, fashion you express by putting keywords between inverted commas, giving a meaning to what you create and renovate, giving value to every item that is sold in your stores in Sydney, Singapore, Tokyo, Toronto, or on your “website”.  

Why am I writing to you? Because while surfing the internet, I couldn’t find anything that exalted your work as it deserved. I think a commemorating work is necessary for the most “revolutionary” designer of 2017. This was your year. This was the year I started getting passionate about streetwear, beginning, like everyone, from the love for your Louis Vuitton, Supreme. How have I approached streetwear? Music. Music is the key, once again. Young music, music for everyone, 21st-century rock’n’roll, hip-hop, and guess what? Also this time the internet was very helpful. I went very quickly from listening to hip-hop to understanding its artists, studying and observing them. We are slaves to this deep and beautiful music, but, even more, we are slaves to the protagonists of this music: rappers who wear Balenciaga or Stüssy on stage, showing off all kinds of jewels or simply wearing Kurt Cobain goggles, with a sense of self-confidence and serenity. They are everything we’d like to be, they’re something unattainable, they are what we emulate every day, following the current trends, which they started.

Internet, music, fashion. These words are close to you Virgil, since you’re not only a designer and architect, you’re also a DJ, and, involuntarily, an influencer, creator of ideas followed by a small group of cool people (but bound to increase) that you represent, people who are in the streetwear, in the fashion world, in the circus.

We, the girls and boys, share them every day on our social networks, our favorite artists, rigorously bold artists, using the beloved/hated autotune, which came back magically 3 or 4 years ago, starting from the US and arriving in Italy, where you located your Off-White brand, in Milan. We are especially fans of the trap-rap, where today more than ever fashion starts, and exactly out of trap began my interest for fashion. Within one year I discovered many brands on the fashion circuit, but, until today, Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh was the only brand that made me think “WOW”.   

Off-White and its complexity. Virgil, let me tell you this: you are a genius in making what looks impossible, actually available for everyone. You rip a part of a shoe, put it on another, leave a trademark with a black permanent marker and observe satisfied: there’s a masterpiece. This is how the ten gems of your collaboration with Nike were born. Without a doubt the best collaboration of 2017, superior in its simplicity, magnified by your illusionist skills. Virgil Abloh, you are a magician. You take a pair of Nike Jordan 1 Chicago, change some materials, put your touch on the sole, laces, upper, tab, add your special inverted commas on the lateral bands and you get an incomparable product. This is how you do your magic.

Taking a leather tote bag, writing “SCULPTURE” on it, putting it on a pedestal and taking a picture; taking some long leather boots, specify their use of the “FOR WALKING” phrase: this is magic. Taking a cloth belt, adding the factory fragrance, the tailor’s hand, the mind of a genius: this is how you create a cult item, an object of desire for every fashionista.


This is Off-White.

How did art spread in 1400? Patronage. How does art spread today? Internet. We have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and so on. They are way stronger means of communication and more powerful than the medieval ones. It’s through the internet that you merchandise a product today, that you discover passions and interests you ignored before. It’s all quiet, nobody notices it. The results arrive later: when you are very close to spending 500-600 euros on a pair of shoes created by your favorite designer or you are willing to trust a stranger met on a themed Facebook group who wants to sell you the precious item. We want a piece of art that bad. What are we? Fashion slaves, slaves to symbolism and strong personalities. Music is the mirror room of a carnival. You are in it and you lose yourself, with the mirrors representing Travis Scott, Lil Uzi Vert, Quavo, Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, all ready to hypnotize you with their style. You desire what they’re wearing.

Is all this bad? Maybe.

Is all this new?


Fashion has always been around.

Art has always been around.

The actors have changed but the game is always the same.

Once the patron was Lorenzo de Medici, now he’s called Kanye West.

The sponsored artist was Sandro Botticelli, now it's Virgil Abloh.


Virgil, you’re my favorite designer, and you wanna know why? Because you’re able to concentrate all fashion ideals into one. Streetwear, haute couture, vintage style, you have it all. I like you because you’re so good in giving independence, freshness, that revolutionary and young touch to every item, even though your degree was in architecture, a word that sounds antique, old, not very artistic. You take inspiration from everything, creating luxury with T-shirts. This is why you were able to impress me more than any other designer this year, for your unique ability to make unique items.

Dear Virgil,

Thank you so much. It’s because of you that we can enjoy haute couture clothing paired with sneakers, that simplicity is looked at differently in the fashion world now, and it’s always thanks to you that I have this big passion for fashion, creating outfits with different items, many of which you created.

Thank you Virgil Abloh, you are fashion for me today.