In late November, the fashion world lost a beloved designer. Virgil Abloh was the most recent artistic director of Louis Vuitton and, later, LVMH. His groundbreaking career allowed for new voices – and faces – to be recognized in the high fashion world and, because of this, his influence will be felt for years to come.
Abloh’s start in the fashion world began through an internship with Fendi, the Italian luxury fashion house. During his internship, he grew closer to Kanye West and a years-long collaboration between the two creatives began. From there, Abloh began his own label called Off-White, which was a high-end streetwear label with enough credentials in the fashion industry to score collaborations with Nike, Levi’s, IKEA, and even Evian.
At this point, Off-White had caught the zeitgeist of global fashion and his influence could be felt on the runway for other luxury brands. Streetwear became couture and Abloh’s vision of a democratized perspective of fashion was becoming realized. When LVMH bought Off-White, Virgil took on the director position at Louis Vuitton, being the first African-American to secure this position.
Abloh’s work will be remembered as a tension between class, race, and creative influences which ultimately spoke to the woke-conscious demographics of his brand. Partnering with Kanye West allowed for Abloh to break through multiple doors within the industry to now be considered in the sartorial pantheon along with Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, and Yves St. Laurent.
Here at Inkstable, we ourselves are grateful to the work that Virgil Abloh did for the fashion industry – and the luxury industry as a whole. It got us thinking: what pen is most representative of Abloh’s legacy?
For me, I think it would have to be Montblanc’s Meisterstück Geometry Solitaire Champagne Gold LeGrand. This pen holds many of the same design principles that Abloh was known for. It is a mix of heritage and modernism that plays a cheeky nod to the past while not being afraid to break boundaries into the future. It’s simple, but not boring. It has texture and depth to the barrel that somehow does not distract from the overall presentation. Look at Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer 2019 and tell me that Abloh’s style isn’t reflected in this Meisterstück.
And that’s the beauty of Virgil Abloh and why he will be sorely missed: his work wasn’t about the brand; it was about the beauty behind the brand and modernizing it for the next generation to enjoy. We hope that whoever takes Abloh’s place will be able to live up to his legacy. It won’t be easy.