5 April 2022, 14:00
Fans of the fashion maverick called out The Recording Academy for describing him as simply “a hip-hop fashion designer” in their memoriam segment
The GRAMMYs are facing major backlash from fans of the late Virgil Abloh after they labeled him as a “hip-hop fashion designer” during Sunday’s live airing of the 64th annual music award show.
During the ceremonies ‘In Memoriam’ segment, a photo of the fashion designer appeared on screen, describing him as: ‘Virgil Abloh Hip Hop Fashion Designer’, which upset his fans globally.
Abloh, who was the first Black creative director for Louis Vuitton and his own label Off-White worked alongside multiple mainstream as well as high street brands like Nike. Not only did he have a big presence in fashion but in music too.
He also received a Master of Architecture degree at the Illinois Institute of Technology before becoming a fashion designer and a DJ. He was also nominated for a Grammy award back in 2012 for his work on Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne album.
He also designed some of Kanye’s iconic album covers including My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Yeezus.
Fans of the fashion designer weren’t happy with how he was label at the show, with some suggesting that it was given to him simply because he’s Black.
One fan wrote: “The list of accomplishments Virgil had in fashion, art, architecture, music, etc. is longer than most people at the Grammy’s combined. It’s crazy to me that they thought it was a good idea to diminish his life’s work to being a “hip-hop fashion designer”.
Another one commented: “Virgil has contributed too much to be disrespected like that. #GRAMMYs”.
Minimizing Virgil Abloh to a “Hip-Hop Fashion Designer” is nasty behavior. Whoever at the Grammys that’s responsible, you’re not seeing heaven.
— Ronald Isley (@yoyotrav) April 4, 2022
The way that everyone is collectively so angry about “Virgil Abloh, hip hop fashion designer” like HOW did that even get approved by multiple people????
— LOUIS (@LOUIS_via_ROMA) April 4, 2022
The Grammys calling Virgil Abloh a “Hip Hop Fashion Designer”…big yikes
— Jacob Gallagher (@jacobwgallagher) April 4, 2022
Virgil Abloh was the damn artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear and founded a full-on fashion house in Milan.
I get them trying to tie him to music in some way to “explain” the inclusion to clueless people. But respect is more important than catering to a clueless person https://t.co/AukjB0BXzl
— Watching the Throne (@KanyePodcast) April 4, 2022
The Grammys calling Virgil Abloh a “hip-hop designer” does not sit right with me. At all.
— Kea (@jacquemusx) April 4, 2022
Abloh passed away on November 28 2021 after secretly battling cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare, aggressive form of the disease for the past two-years. The announcement of his death was made via his official Instagram page that read:
“We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh. He chose to endure his battle privately since his diagnosis in 2019, undergoing numerous challenging treatments, all while helming several significant institutions that span fashion, art, and culture” it says.
“Through it all, his work ethic, infinite curiosity, and optimism never wavered. Virgil was driven by his dedication to his craft and to his mission to open doors for others and create pathways for greater equality in art and design. He often said, ‘Everything I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself,’ believing deeply in the power of art to inspire future generations”.
His cause of death was revealed as cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare, aggressive form of the disease. Cardiac sarcomas is a type of sarcoma called angiosarcoma.
According to WebMD, most angiosarcomas occur in the right upper chamber atrium of the heart.The tumor blocks blood flow in and out of the chamber. This blockage may cause symptoms like chest pain and swelling of the feet, legs, ankles, or belly abdomen.
R.I.P Virgil Abloh 🕊️