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Virgil Abloh's lasting legacy

Virgil Ablohknew how to get people to talk. When he launched his first fashion brand,PyrexVision, in 2012, Abloh bought a deadstock flannel shirt from Ralph Lauren for $ 40, the word "Pyrex" and number 23. (Michael Jordan), priced at $ 550, sold out in minutes. Shirts quickly became lightning rods, enthusiastic about the internet with discussions about design ethics, streetwear bootleg trends, and hype profitability, making Abroa major fashion concern.

For Abro, the controversy was part of the point. At Off-White's 2016 runway show, Abro's cult brand, designers asked graffiti artist Jim Joe to decorate the rug with a quote from the men's wear blog about the infamous Pyrex shirt. Similarly, at retail stores, I hit "PYREX 23" on the back and resold it with an amazing markup of about 700%. Swinging around the quote was a fitting metaphor for Abro's design philosophy. He argued that everything was an opportunity to create, even if he disliked it. The late Ghanaian-American designer, who died of a rare form of cancercardiovascular sarcomaat the age of 41 in November 2021, has always been criticized in the past rather than creating something new. I wasn't interested. The rugs of his early show are prominently exhibited at theBrooklyn Museumas part of theVirgil Abloh. Witness the dizzying expanse of Abrow's work and creativity, from his early work as artistic director of Louis Vuitton to design.

"Metaphorical expression" It will open on July 1st at the Brooklyn Museum.

Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum

Abro wears many hats throughout his life, fashion designers, artists, DJs, civil engineers, and more. Was there. He refuses to limit his work to a single medium or genre, rejects labels likehis designersand artists, and instead simply describes himself as a "maker". I liked to do it. For Abro, creation was about rethinking the possibilities of something and bridging the gap between the institution and the underground. In his world, art is commercial, streetwear is high fashion, and a civil engineer-turned DJ could be a world-famous creative.

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"Speech"illustrates its breadth and sense of potential. The show, which spans the ground floor of the museum, presents Abro's 20-year-old work, from high school architectural challenges and college sketchbooks to selections from Off-White and Louis Vuitton fashion collections. Like Abro, the exhibition goes against convention, skipping standard wall hangings to showcase colorful sneakers, and on unfinished wooden tables designed by Abro himself, such asKanye Westand Takashi Murakami. We will collaborate visually with the artists of. For some, the exhibition may feel like a studio or streetwear convention. A gift shop full of Abro brand merchandise adds to this sensation, but for curator Antowan Sargent, breaking tradition feels like a show about Abro.

"He was creating space for himself, but he was creating space for others in the space within the creative space." Sargent says. "The fact that we are holding this exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum's encyclopedia facility is a way to enable black creativity and concern in the space of architecture, fashion and art, and which is the boundary by Welgirius. Evidence of how it was reshaped. It is fully recognized. "

The previous version of the exhibition was the Brooklyn Museum, home of Abro. Exhibited in 2019, the new show is as large as the impressive "social sculpture" in the center of the museum, conceived by its predecessors, the Brooklyn and Sargent, as a "museum in the museum." A wooden hut-style meeting space has been added. "Social sculpture" means a place for performances, DJ sets, lectures, community events, and other gatherings that may not normally be held in museums. For Sargent, "social sculpture" speaks to Abro's spirit as a person who paved the way for a new type of artist, without institutional gatekeepers or pretending to be. Throughout his career, Abro became known for his collaborations with emerging artists, as well as his work with established people and brands, and was often praised for his investment in young talent.

Read more: Five ways Virgil Abloh's influence goes beyond the realm of fashion

Exhibits Technically the first posthumous investigation of Abloh's work, Sargent actively cooperated in curating and running the exhibition for three years, sending checklists and notes a few days before Sargent's death. It claims that it is not a retrospective exhibition.

The flag titled "PSA" The front of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago as part of the flying 2019 exhibition.

Courtesy of the Institute of Gymnastics Arts&Virgil Abloh Securities /

"His legacy is still being made," Sargent said. say. "Things are still out." Another new addition to the exhibit is "Functional Art," a giant chrome sound system that rethinks Brown's iconic Wandanlage wall stereo. Abro designed the work in collaboration with the brand, but he couldn't see it happen. The stereo, which made its public debut, is wall-mounted at the start of the exhibition and is set to welcome visitors with a mix of jazz and rap. It is a symbol of Abro's appreciation for art that is not only beautiful but also useful, a value reflected in the collection ofIKEAand the Swiss furniture company Vitra.

For Sargent, this exhibit is a testament to how Abro continues to inspire and empower a new generation of creativity. “His legacy is one example,” says Sargent. "His work gives many people permission to do the work they have to do."

Cady Lang ( Write to