The son of Ghanaian immigrants, Virgil Abloh was a trailblazing artist, architect, engineer, designer, DJ, husband, and father, as well as Louis Vuitton Men's Artistic Director, up until his untimely passing at the age of 41 in November 2021. He continued to work even while privately battling an aggressive form of cancer, including taking on a project to design Nike Air Force 1s for Louis Vuitton’s spring/summer 2022 collection. The design was also in celebration of the iconic shoe's 40th anniversary.
This past month, over the course of two weeks, 200 pairs of the limited edition sneakers were auctioned off via Sotheby's in support of the Virgil Abloh™ "Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund. The Fund's mission is to foster equity and inclusion in the fashion industry by supporting the next generation of Black designers. According to the scholarship's web page, "Mr. Abloh named the fund “Post-Modern” to represent that recipients will not only receive funds but will also be given access to vital career support services and mentoring. In addition to his own donation, Abloh also initially raised funds from his partners evian, Farfetch, Louis Vuitton, and New Guards Group, with more partners to be announced in the future as the Fund continues to work for long-term change."
The online sale, which closed on February 8th, has become the most valuable charitable sale at Sotheby’s in almost a decade. It set a new record auction total for fashion as well as a new participation record for the total number of bids received on opening day and the number of bidders for online sales overall. The grand total raised was $25.3 million dollars, of which one hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit Abloh's scholarship fund.
“Today’s record-breaking auction, which saw unparalleled global participation, is a testament to Virgil Abloh’s legacy as one of the most visionary artists and designers of his generation whose widespread influence and impact is still palpable,” said Sotheby’s Chief Executive Officer Charles F Stewart in an official statement.
What a beautiful legacy to leave behind for future generations of Black artists and designers. Read more here.