In Case You Missed It: A Tribute to Fashion Genius Virgil Abloh Blooms in Makati
“His message was unrelenting—that anything is possible.”
Over a week after the world of fashion Virgil Abloh and tributes continue to pour. For its part, luxury streetwear brand Off-White decided to honor its late founder with an in-shop floral installation that is mirrored in cities around the world.
In Off-White stores in cities such as London, Paris, Seoul, Miami, New York, and Tokyo, merchandise have been replaced flowers and graffiti that read the words “Virgil Forever.” The newly-opened Off-White store at the refreshed luxury wing of Greenbelt 3 has followed suit.
Jappy Gonzalez and his UNIVERS group, which is the exclusive distributor of Off-White in the country, used sunflowers for their tribute installation.
“Abloh was very inspiring, especially to the youth,” Gonzalez says. “His message was unrelenting—that anything is possible. He was such a big force in making fashion culturally relatable.”
After famously working under influential rapper Kanye West for years, Abloh launched his first collection for Off-White in 2014. His love of collaboration took the brand to greater heights and thus introduced a new norm in the fashion industry—one marked by collaboration and cross-cultural synthesis.
Within the last 10 years of Off-White, the late designer collaborated with individuals like A$AP Rocky and Takashi Murakami, as well as companies varying from big to small, luxury to mass market, both within and outside of fashion such as Nike and Ikea.
In 2018, the man from Illinois was appointed as Louis Vuitton’s men’s artistic director, which paved the way for one of the highest profile cross-overs between street-wear and luxury. Abloh’s new role introduced more Black talent in the luxury fashion industry, which had then remained primarily White.
While he stood as one of the very few Black creatives in the European luxury house, he decided to use this newfound platform to elevate other Black artists like Kid Cudi, Devonte Hynes, and Playboi Carti through different initiatives. Inspiring change, Abloh also designed the NikeLab Chicago Re-Creation Center to hold mentorship programs for the youth.
“He paved the way for fashion to be more inclusive and relevant,” Gonzalez says. “He pioneered a cultural movement that brought people together. His legacy and contributions will never be forgotten.”
Off-White opened in the Philippines in 2018 and recently opened a boutique in Greenbelt 3.