"A moment" via Virgil Abloh, Louis Vuitton, blogs, cold emails, and...the Wapity.
To be writing this post...on THE BRILLIANCE!!1...in Paris...about this topic...after attending my first Louis Vuitton fashion show. Can't find the words to describe how it feels. In fact, that was an incredibly common sentiment from anyone who was at the show, friends/family of his, kids in the scene, and probably beyond. "Incredible" just ends up feeling a bit...short.
While, yeah, I love fashion/style/etc and whatever that has come to mean...I don't feel quite qualified to write about the clothes from the collection. So instead I figured I'd write about the context, specifically through my lens as a close friend of his for the past 10+ years.
I met Virgil when he cold emailed us asking to write on the site in like 2006. We got a decent amount of these emails at the time...so we declined. Though, it was one of the better pitches as it included a couple sample posts he whipped up. Instead, I ended up staying in touch via email, chatting about his work in architecture, culture stuff, etc...eventually Chuck and I got quite busy and thought a third writer would make sense...so we hit him up. He was excited, exceptionally gracious as always, and...really fucking good at the abstract, interconnected, weird, insightful kind of content we've always had on this site. A bit before then, he was working at an architecture firm in Chicago, occasionally DJing at some sushi spot he invited me to, doing pop-up concept shop-esque things with his friends under the name Fort Home (I think??), and just starting to get plugged in with Kanye's camp via Don C. Meanwhile, we'd never met in person...ever, just email. I believe it was the same year he started writing for us that we both decided a trip to NYC to shop would be fun, and to check out his friend, Gabe Stulman's, newly opening restaurant in the West Village called The Little Owl. We met at the airport arrivals, jumped in a cab and headed to Hotel Rivington, dropped our stuff, and headed out to our first stop, a shared personal favorite...the Louis Vuitton store in Soho.
The Wapity bag which, until June 21 2018—the day of his first show as Louis Vuitton's artistic director, had been discontinued...is back. It's this tiny soft-trunk looking thing with a carabiner clip and leather strap...an accessible, ironic, hand-held reference to the massive hard trunks that LV is so well known for. It's perfectly "Virgil" in so many ways literally and figuratively. And its all over his new collection...reimagined in new colors with plastic and ceramic replacing leather, attached to a vest, the outfit Kim Kardashian wore has them directly affixed, etc...it's everywhere...visible and invisible.
Full circle, after all the emails and blog posts...that first time Virgil and I hung for a weekend in NYC, in 2006, at the Soho Louis Vuitton store...we each purchased a Wapity. I bought a classic one, which I still have, and he bought the white Murakami design of course. "What a moment."