In December 2019, you would have recalled Virgil Abloh making the bold statement to Dazed, that “streetwear is dead”. When we put this sentiment to Joey Bada$$ during an interview, he simply responded, “I think that is the dumbest shit ever,” and fans and industry experts shared this opinion. Then, during the launch of Louis Vuitton x NIGO, the lauded designer retracted his comment when speaking to Vogue and admitted that it was “naive”. However, it appears that Virgil Abloh has once again changed his mind amid the current riots that have gripped the United States, referring to streetwear as a community rather than a fashion trend.
In response to the death of George Floyd, riots have left store fronts bare as protestors burn and loot cities across the nation – this includes Sean Wotherspoon’s Round Two Vintage Store which was raided last week. Alongside videos posted to Instagram by Wotherspoon, the Off White designer has broken his silence over the matter and revisited his past comments, not only condemning those who have fuelled violence as of late but pronouncing the streetwear community as dead.
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Posted to his Instagram stories, Abloh’s comments read, “Case & point # 81 why I said ‘streetwear’ is dead. Streetwear is a community. It’s groups of friends that have a common bond. We hang out on street corners, fight with each other, fight for each other.”
“‘Streetwear’ is a detachment to the above. ‘Streetwear’ is yelling [at] shop staff, starting fights at lineups, defaming us cause we didn’t get enough pairs of shoes cause everyone can’t get a pair. Streetwear is a culture. ‘Streetwear’ is a commodity,” Abloh wrote. “‘Streetwear’ is I need this t-shirt or pairs of shoes…. by any means necessary.”
Finally, the definition of streetwear to Virgil Abloh has been revealed and for the designer like many creatives, it has never been about the merchandise, rather, the community the industry was born from. “In no instance of me using the word Streetwear did I mention a shoe, t-shirt, or hoodie.”