“Virgil was an inspiration and a great part of what menswear fashion is at Selfridges. We opened the first Off-White shop-in-shop what feels like many years ago now. The impact was instant. Customers, staff and fashion industry professionals alike competed to buy the first Off-White collection pieces. Signature ‘pieces’ selling out immediately. But the success was not only commercial in nature. The impact that Virgil’s Off-White had on London fashion and music culture was only beginning to dawn on us later. It was the start of a new guard of designers who we were able to work with from that moment onwards.
Virgil pushed on so many levels what a fashion designer can be – music, fashion, art, homeware. His creativity reaching far into so many aspects of menswear culture.
I first met Virgil when working at Comme des Garçons, when he came to the store together with Kanye West. And we had some great exchanges about buying, products and brands, and how everything is linked together. It’s easy to see in hindsight now how it all fits together – but at the time, which must have been around 2009/2010, it was not. Social media was in its infancy and fashion did not have the cross-cultural influence it has now. Not least because of Virgil and the visionary he was. He worked and connected many a creative world together.
When Virgil became the first artistic director of Louis Vuitton with an African-American background, it further cemented the influence he had on the entire fashion industry, which I think will be remembered as a real moment of change.
Besides his work in fashion for Off-White and LV, and with all the collaborators from Evian to Chrome Hearts, Virgil was the most incredible DJ. I do not know how he found the time to do everything. That truly, for me, makes him a huge source of inspiration forever.
Virgil will be greatly missed. A huge talent that we’ve lost. Rest in power.”