An iconic American fashion designer who worked for Louis Vuitton as well as heading up his own brand died at the weekend from cancer.
Designers and celebrities have been paying tribute to the Off-White designer Virgil Abloh, recalling his most well-known designs.
Nottingham’s king of fashion, Paul Smith’s career has spanned over five decades but how does his style compare with the 41 year old’s whose career was cut short by his death?
The pair’s careers differ greatly, perhaps due to geographical differences, or because of deeper issues, such as skin colour.
Some may argue that Virgil Abloh was more influential than Paul Smith, as a black man breaking barriers and defying odds, compared to a white man who had less barriers to overcome.
Paul Smith’s 2022 Spring Collection features a plethora of bright clothing, with blues, yellows and oranges being the main colours featured.
Although Abloh’s Spring 2022 collection is yet to be released following his death, his 2021 collection for his company Off-White featured a more neutral colour scheme, with whites, browns and blacks being the main colours (with the occasional yellow or red).
Both are gorgeous collections, reflecting their styles, but Abloh’s seems all that more unique.
Perhaps it’s the difference in country but Smith’s seems to centre more around styles you could find in fast fashion stores, whereas Abloh’s seems to branch out past the everyday clothing.
This was especially seen in his Louis Vuitton 2020/21 Fall-Winter collection.
The most memorable pieces of that collection were the skyscraper themed jackets.
However, Paul Smith’s fall collection is one that seems to stand out more with an autumnal palette, including an orange suit and wool and cashmere pieces sure to keep you warm.
— Paul Smith (@PaulSmithDesign) November 26, 2021
Smith’s collection is beautiful but it does not have the same uniqueness and out there aspect to it that Abloh’s does.
There are few upsides to winter, but getting wrapped up in wool, cashmere and all things warm is certainly one of them.
— Paul Smith (@PaulSmithDesign) November 27, 2021
Despite Abloh’s death, he has designed for celebrities such as Hailey Bieber and has delivered outstanding designs, including her wedding dress.
Hailey Bieber’s wedding dress designed by Virgil Abloh pic.twitter.com/gKyufyq2Cj
— Kanye West Streams (@kanyestreams1) November 28, 2021
A black man being a staple in the fashion industry seems to be a rare occurrence, so perhaps his more outlandish designs are what helped boost him to the top.
Paul Smith’s 2022 Spring collection: https://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/spring-2022-ready-to-wear/paul-smith
Virgil Abloh’s 2021 Fall collection: https://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/fall-2021-menswear/louis-vuitton
Virgil Abloh’s 2021 Spring collection: https://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/spring-2021-ready-to-wear/off-white/slideshow/collection#24