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Virgil Abloh's Legacy at Design Week 2022

The tribute comes from the world of design

Virgil Abloh's Legacy at Design Week 2022 The tribute comes from the world of design

«Off-White™ is one of the few people who can sell a mug, a rug, an ashtray and a leather jacket» declared Andrea Grilli, CEO of New Guards Group, a few months ago. And, months after his untimely death, it was precisely the design world that huddled around his creative legacy during this last Design Week. If Off-White™ celebrated Salone del Mobile 2022 by presenting Off-White™ Home 4.0, the fourth collection designed for the home, and the second chapter of the Off-White™ c/o Ginori 1735 collaboration by dedicating a corner to the American creative, more than one design brand showed an appreciation for Virgil's testament. Indeed, defining the approach of a creative purist and at the same time tourist escapes the craze of resorting to rigidly taxonomic boundaries and labels. Virgil Abloh was also an architect, an industrial designer, and had collaborated with Cassina to create the multifunctional elements of Modular Imagination.

In fact, in the showroom at Via Durini 16, the brand presented an unprecedented installation to celebrate Modular imagination, the modular blocks designed by Virgil Abloh.  The project consists of two total black construction elements of different sizes, both marked by the round Cassina-Abloh logo in bas-relief, which can be combined and interlocked to create poufs, benches, sofas or support surfaces. A situation replicated moreover by Alessi, with whom Virgil had already undertaken collaborative projects. It is called Alessi 100-001 and includes within it a collection of cutlery designed by the creative «for the next 100 years of Alessi» reports the company. Designed by Abloh with his London design studio Alaska and shown in a surrealist installation by Studio Temp, the designer himself is said to have contacted Alberto Alessi to create this new collection: «I remember that the first reference Abloh showed me to explain the collection was a wrench. Something very far from what we usually define as 'good design.' It was quite brutalist and I found it very interesting» says Alberto Alessi. His repertoire of quotations has also arrived in the Aspesi showroom, which, with its Hand written stories project, has opened a meditative space with a selection of handwritten Post it's, part of contemporary art curator Hans Ulrich Obrist's collection. One of them reads «Helvetica is my signature, Virgil».

What was seen last week in Milan is Abloh's eternal testament, the ultimate proof not only of the creative legacy left by Louis Vuitton's artistic director, but also of his multidisciplinary nature, an innate ability that has always allowed him to make his mark in a multitude of different fields. This is also why, at the end of a Design Week that came back in a big way after the stop imposed by Covid, it was impossible not to notice how Virgil Abloh's legacy was omnipresent in the ideas that pervaded the city of Milan. Further proof of the eternal genius of the founder of Off-White™.