Generation V brings together Virgil Abloh’s former collaborators, as they step into the designer’s swangsong collection

Despite working in fashion for little more than a decade, Virgil Abloh redefined what it meant to create clothing. By the time he had passed away last November – aged just 41 – his presence was near-talismanic, proving a bloodline to some of the most prolific figures in music, art, fashion, and architecture. While his fans have breathlessly travelled over his back-catalogue at Pyrex, Off-White, and Been Trill, Louis Vuitton took on the task of consolidating the themes of the eight-season arc he had left behind at the house. And last January, during Abloh’s swansong collection, the designer’s story came to a close.

This week, the label supplemented that final statement with a campaign, dubbed Generation V, which brings together some of the designer’s former collaborators, among them NIGO, Yussef Dayes, Kai-Isaiah Jamal, and Solange. In a slew of images shot by Tyrone Lebon, the cast reiterate the “childlike wonder” that has come to define Abloh, volleying from playgrounds, to street corners, to rooftops, doused in paint and rain. In an accompanying film, the late designer’s voice speaks overhead, spliced from some of his most enduring quotes: “You can’t waste even a day subscribing to what someone thinks you can do. The goal is to open up doors for others. The young generation realise that you are what you make yourself to be.” 

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Following the ode that Louis Vuitton’s design team dedicated to Abloh during its SS22 show, Le Bon’s campaign also dovetails with the Brooklyn Museum’s “FIGURES OF SPEECH” exhibition, which traces the designer’s stratospheric rise. Though the show debuted in Chicago in 2019 before moving into Boston, Atlanta, and Doha, its arrival in New York is the first showing of the exhibit since Abloh has passed. In truth, the industry has staged numerous homages following Abloh’s death, and while it’s clear that people have struggled to grapple with the loss of someone whose activity had always appeared to be ceaseless, Virgil Abloh’s legacy will continue to emerge in the blueprint he had laid for a generation of young creatives.