Fresh off his debut Louis Vuitton menswear presentation, designer Virgil Abloh sits for a chat with model icon Naomi Campbell to discuss his ascent as a designer and how he prepared for the historic collection.
Campbell conducted the interview at Louis Vuitton headquarters in her new role as British Vogue contributing editor.
When asked by Campbell, “How did you get this job?” Abloh explained, “I dreamt about it, I willed it into fruition, thinking that it could happen and doing everything in my power to sort of make it cross my path. I can name instances eight years ago that were part of this process, I can name instances eight months that were part of it. I think it’s a metaphor for anything one wants to do in life.”
Reflecting on his 14-year friendship with West, Abloh told the backstory of the iconic 2009 photograph snapped by Tommy Ton during Paris Fashion Week that featured himself, Kanye West, Fonz Bentley, Taz Arnold, Chris Julien and Don C.
Speaking on his embrace of West at the Louis Vuitton presentation, Abloh said, “Kanye was the guy when it was completely unpopular that said, ‘I am not to be typecast into a box.’ He willed it for us. He was like, ‘We’re going with fashion, the place we can’t get in.’ That dream is his as much as it was mine. In my dream, it was him down the runway.
“The one thing that has to be stressed about that show is that it actually wasn’t me on the runway. It was the community. That show was us. That link wouldn’t have happened unless, if I didn’t acknowledge Kanye stood from a mountain top and yelled, saying, ‘The future of fashion will be like this. I wanted the world to see that the guy who fought for this moment is a part of it and is uniquely linked to me doing it.”
Designers he mentioned as admiring are Riccardo Tisci, Nicolas Ghesquière and Phoebe Philo.
Enjoy the exchange below.
Paris Fashion Week photo by Tommy Ton