When Virgil Abloh took his first bow for Louis Vuitton in June 2018, fashion changed forever… The first book on the visionary designer since his passing on November 28, 2021, Louis Vuitton: Virgil Abloh is a testament of a relationship that changed the course of fashion history. The appointment of Virgil Abloh to Men’s Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton — the house’s first African-American to hold that role — marked both a moment and a movement, the origin point of luxury’s new era, one defined by inclusivity, diversity, and empowerment. Written by Abloh’s close collaborator, Anders Christian Madsen, the title offers an intimate, insider portrait of a man born to break boundaries on and off the runway. Divided into eight chapters, one for each of the eight Virgil-orchestrated Louis Vuitton menswear collections and shows —plus the complete
catalogue of the designer’s sneakers — Louis Vuitton: Virgil Abloh deep-dives readers into a singular, kite-flying, rainbow-colored world filled with rich cultural reference points and narratives, from The Wizard of Oz and James Baldwin to ‘90s hip-hop style and a mind-bending 1969 drum solo.
With over 320 stunningly iconic images and personal reflections from Virgil’s inner circle, including Nigo, Naomi Campbell, Luka Sabbat, Kendall Jenner, and Kid Cudi, the book is the definitive chronicle and exploration of a partnership that redefined not only dress codes but their very vocabulary. Madsen notes that “as a Black creative with no formal training in fashion design, no list of established fashion houses on his CV […] Abloh saw himself as an infiltrator in high fashion: a true outsider who would become a groundbreaking figure.” Interspersed with quotes from Virgil Abloh himself, or “Abloh-isms,” the title is also accompanied by in-depth captions that allow the reader to contextualize every stage of the designer’s story—both personal and professional—at Louis Vuitton. All the major highlights of Abloh’s tenure at Louis Vuitton are included, like his first campaign for the Maison; Shot by Inez & Vinoodh, featuring a three-year-old girl dressed in a samplesized Yellow Brick Road sweater from the spring-summer 2019 collection. And, of course, Abloh’s mastery of the limited-edition objet d’art in the form of imaginative three-dimensional show invitations. Think: a T-shirt whose color corresponded to the section of the rainbow runway the guests would be seated on, a glove evocative of the stage costumes of Abloh’s childhood idols, or a wooden model plane. Anders Christian Madsen is a fashion writer who contributes to international fashion publications and has served as Fashion Critic for British Vogue since 2017. He works as a consultant to leading fashion houses and sits on committees devoted to emerging talent. Raised in Denmark, he graduated from the London College of Fashion in 2009 and began his career as Fashion Features Director at i-D Magazine. Madsen was a close collaborator of Virgil Abloh throughout his time as Men’s Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton from 2018-2021.
Assouline and Louis Vuitton are releasing the title with two collectible covers within the Assouline Classics Collection. One taken from the Louis Vuitton’s spring-summer 2022 spinoff show in Miami, with an image of a young child bounding towards a striking red Louis Vuitton hot air balloon, emblematic of the significance of youth in Virgil’s work. The other sports cartoon artwork by cultural icon/artist Reggieknow, who illustrated the now cult characters for Virgil’s spring-summer 2021 show (a video starring animated puppets dubbed ‘The Adventures of Zooom with Friends’)— the first time Louis Vuitton ever collaborated with a Black artist on the runway. The book will also be available in an Ultimate Collection; packaged in a collectible box referencing Virgil’s use of shipping crates in the spring-summer 2021 collection. The Ultimate also features a special, separate insert that serves as compendium for every single sneaker Virgil designed for Louis Vuitton, including this year’s new Air Force 1s.