VIRGIL’S EPIC RUG STILL HOLDS WEIGHT

The enraptured elite and the captivated masses: Abloh’s reach was wide, his influence deep – but also gloriously, pop-culturally shallow. This was the high-low appeal of a man who upended fashion’s status quo while rooted firmly in street culture, bringing his own brand of maximalism to the rarefied world of luxury labels.

 

In death, as in life, Abloh leaves behind a complicated legacy. He was a young black man who made it to the top of a very white industry. He was a boundary-pushing designer whose work sometimes felt like it was behind the times. He was a symbol of inclusivity and an embodiment of exclusivity. But most of all, he was a trendsetter – and his death will be felt keenly in fashion circles for years to come.

“This duality is perhaps best encapsulated by the fact that he designed a number of products for IKEA, one of the world’s most popular retailers.”

 

The death of Virgil Abloh has caused prices to spike on a number of items, from IKEA rugs to Mercedes-Benz cars. Abloh was an accomplished designer, with a reach that spanned both the high- and low-end markets. His influence was undeniable, with his designs being featured in both high-fashion magazines and streetwear blogs. However, his work also had a distinctly populist flair, which made it popular with both the elite and the masses. This duality is perhaps best encapsulated by the fact that he designed a number of products for IKEA, one of the world’s most popular retailers. In the days since his death, prices for Abloh-designed IKEA rugs have spiked, with some models selling for hundreds of dollars on auction websites. Mercedes-Benz has also seen a surge in sales of cars that were designed by Abloh. The popularity of these cars can likely be attributed to the fact that they represent both high fashion and street fashion, two genres that Abloh was deeply involved in. In the days and weeks to come, it will be interesting to see how other brands respond to the death of Virgil Abloh.

 

Will they try to emulate his eclectic style, or will they try to distance themselves from it? Only time will tell.

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