The Grammys has been catching heat for their categorization of legendary fashion icon Virgil Abloh as a “hip-hop fashion designer.”
The 2022 Grammys tried to pay homage to Abloh, who died in November at the age of 41 after a two-year battle with cancer. However, the language they used to do so was off-putting to many.
Fans of the fashion designer took issue with his portrayal during the memorandum portion of the Grammys. Twitter exploded with allegations of type-casting and trying to box in Alboh’s talents, claiming the label was “disrespectful.”
According to one Twitter user, it was “very disrespectful for the Grammys to call Virgil Abloh a “hip hop fashion designer”… the micro aggressive racism we see in fashion and entertainment today still baffles me.”
Abloh was a globally renowned fashion designer that founded his label Off-White in 2012. After the massive success of the brand, Abloh led partnerships with Nike, Ikea, and more. Virgil earned a degree in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2002. He went on to intern at Fendi with Kanye West in 2009. Virgil became the creative director of West’s DONDA creative agency in 2010. In March of 2017, he became the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection.
Project Maybach, Abloh’s collaboration with Mercedes-Benz, was revealed earlier this week after being announced last October. The luxury sedan boasts beige and black colors, 20-inch wheels, and an accompanying apparel line in collaboration with Off-White. He created numerous scholarships for young black creatives. In addition to being a prolific fashion designer, Abloh was an architect, director, DJ, husband, and father.
On Nov. 28, Abloh’s family confirmed his death to “a rare, aggressive form of cancer” called cardiac angiosarcoma. He underwent “numerous challenging treatments” all while continuing his work in fashion and art.