Virgil Abloh Clears Up “Streetwear Is Dead” Statement: “The Market Wasn’t As Vibrant As It Is Now”

American fashion designer Virgil Abloh is clearing up his statements about streetwear being dead in a new interview with Vogue.

Abloh just released looks of his Louis Vuitton collaboration with Nigo, a partnership he first announced back in December. During the opening of his interview, the designer complimented the fellow designer and said working with him is an honor for him. “Me being at Louis Vuitton is directly attributable to work Nigo’s done in the past. A collab project with him—it puts his work in the right context,” he said.

After discussing his relationship with Nigo, Abloh went on to clarify previous remarks he made about streetwear being a dead style and market in fashion. “I’m such a novice; I don’t realize that things can even go that far. I’m a little bit naive in that way. It was literally me in my kitchen just riffing on what I’d been thinking. I didn’t say it to be polarizing. I think that in the context of this conversation with Nigo—if you speak to anyone that’s been in streetwear for the last 15 years, it’s always had this sort of nine lives, dying and coming back, and dying and coming back.”

He added, “There’s so many first-generation streetwear brands, stores, and retailers. The market wasn’t as vibrant as it is now, so they went out of business, and people don’t remember those. Nigo has had projects before; he’s had many a brand, many identities within streetwear. Partially what I meant that ‘it will die’ is that new things like tailoring from guys like Nigo and me will be born from the regeneration of it.”

Back in December, Abloh reflected on the decade during an interview with Dazed. He was asked to guess what he thought might happen to “the idea of streetwear” in the 2020s. His response caught a bit of backlash in the fashion community. “I would definitely say it’s gonna die, you know? Like, its time will be up,” Abloh said during the 2019 interview.  He also mentioned that he looked forward to the future of vintage styles being taken advantage of more.  Following the outcry from fans, Abloh responded, saying people should “read all of the interview” for a better context of his message.

Virgil Talks Streetwear
(Photo by Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)

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