Instead, the show circled back to the bold hot air balloon as the designer’s voice said “life is short,” warning, “you can’t waste even a day subscribing to what someone thinks you can do versus knowing what you can do” — a sort of anthem that a generation of young fans rallied behind.
Lamont Spears traveled from Atlanta just for the show, wearing a fuzzy LV monogrammed hoodie coat and a sweatshirt with Abloh’s picture.
“It’s a very sad moment, but we’ve got to celebrate his life, we’ve got to keep on pushing because he made a way for us to keep going, to keep being confident,” said the 35-year-old. “He showed me that I can.”
Abloh in 2018 became the first Black man to serve as Louis Vuitton’s director of men’s wear in the French design house’s storied history. He grew up outside of Chicago, his first generation Ghanaian American seamstress mother teaching him to sew.
New York stylist Memsor Kamarake, who saw Abloh’s first show in Paris, flew in specifically for the final tribute, saying through tears after the fireworks, “I felt like now I can finally grieve him.”
“So often black folks are depicted through pain, through struggle, that’s why it was so important for him to tap into this childlike joy,” Kamarake said.
Above a red carpet leading to an outdoor after-party, the sky lit up with red dots that danced in various configurations before coming together to say “Virgil was here.”