The initial interest Virgil Abloh generated in his collaboration with Tom Ford was palpable. Known for designing sneakers, shoe collaborations, and runway pieces, the designer had solidified his credentials for signature designs, and an intimate knack for creating both ready-to-wear and streetwear pieces that pushed the envelope and remained distinct enough from a current season to be unique—notably his bob haircuts and Sia-inspired designs for Off-White. He was a creative force to be reckoned with, so it’s no surprise that for his first head-to-toe collection for Ford, he made it about more than just looking good.
An aesthetic at the core of the brand involved giving the clothing a texture and form that reflected the versatility of the human body and its capacity for suffering and transformation. It was also playful and irreverent, almost science fiction-like, while showing guests the “love” within a deeper lesson on how to reinvent oneself and the world. The word Liberation was also prominent in the presentation, which included a strong focus on contrasts between a geometric and exaggerated fashion aesthetic, with ultra-modern minimalism, and all the while, Abloh forged forward as a leading designer without sacrificing any strength. His collaboration with Ford allowed him to show his first introduction to the world of couture. He made the collection about his aesthetic, principles, and biography—and not about a dress that anyone could easily walk into an event and wear.
In an interview following the fashion show, Abloh said of his obsession with the process, “I’m crazy about fabrics and dyes. I think a certain spark is all it takes to put me into a space that will affect everything else. My work takes place in this pink fog. It’s really captivating for me. I love the journey of creating—and showing up to work. We worked so hard—that money doesn’t do it anymore. To walk the runway for this first time, and to have all these people excited by what we did, that feels right. I’m at the stage in my life where we’re just getting to share something that doesn’t really exist, the products we’re creating. The truth is, I can get people to buy the clothes, but I want to do something bigger, to create something real, to create something beautiful—and that’s what I did.”
Advance quotes and commentary from the press kit