Photo Credit: Grammys
Fans Are Outraged the Grammys Called Virgil Abloh a "Hip-Hop Fashion Designer" During Tribute
During the 'In Memoriam...' Grammys tribute, Virgil Abloh was labeled a "Hip Hop Fashion Designer", which some fans have called dismissive.
Many are saying that the 'In Memoriam...' tribute to Virgil Abloh during Sunday's Grammy Awards was in bad taste. During the segment, Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr., Ben Platt and Rachel Zegler sang in tribute to late-composer Stephen Sondheim while images of artists and music-adjacent creatives flashed behind them. Those honored included Ronnie Spector, DMX, Betty Davis, Lee "Scratch" Perry and Abloh who was described as a "Hip Hop Fashion Designer."
Some viewers of the 64th Annual Grammy Awards took offense to the label, flocking to social media and saying that Abloh was belittled as being "hip-hop." While the multi-hyphenate designer did dress the likes of Kanye West, JAY-Z, Pharrell Williams and more during his life, the Recording Academy was criticized for boxing Abloh's legacy into the "urban" category. Before his untimely death at 41-years-old in November 2021, Abloh was the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection and founder of streetwear brand Off-White, both which had global impact.
According to an announcement made on his Instagram account, Abloh spent the final two years of his life battling a rare cancer called cardiac angiosarcoma. News of his death received an outpour of grief from a mass of entertainers, including Frank Ocean, Drake, and Tyler, the Creator who eulogized the designer at his December funeral held at the Museum Of Contemporary Art in Chicago.
“All these different people, colors, ages, backgrounds, religions, all came for one man and that’s what he did, he brought like the illest people together," Tyler said. “Like Don said even people I was like ‘ugh.’ But you learn he’s either not that bad or he is a genius at whatever he does. The day after he passed away is when I was gonna send him an invite and I was so excited for him to see it. I was really excited for him to see that for real.”
\u201cTyler, The Creator fights back tears while speaking at Virgil Abloh\u2019s memorial. \u201d— Drama for the Girls (@Drama for the Girls) 1638847956
Read responses from Grammy viewers below.
\u201cnothing is wrong with Hip Hop designer, but Virgil was more than that.\u201d— Maura Chanz (@Maura Chanz) 1649039383
\u201cA Black man who was a director of Louis Vuitton, multiple Fashion week shows, designer for Nike, IKEA and his own brands was just a \u201chip hop fashion designer\u201d @RecordingAcad ??? SUCK MY HIP HOP DICK\u201d— DDOT. (@DDOT.) 1649039665
\u201cSitting with that \u201cHip-Hop Designer\u201d statement a bit and it\u2019s eye opening to see how people are receiving that title as a reduction, especially considering that Hip-Hop is the most influential genre/culture (globally) that many ppl flock to and appropriate across cultures.\u201d— Wanna (@Wanna) 1649046242
\u201cVirgil Abloh was the damn artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear and founded a full-on fashion house in Milan. \n\nI get them trying to tie him to music in some way to \u201cexplain\u201d the inclusion to clueless people. But respect is more important than catering to a clueless person\u201d— Chris Lambert (narrative expert) (@Chris Lambert (narrative expert)) 1649047033
\u201cThe Grammys calling Virgil Abloh a "Hip Hop Fashion Designer"...big yikes\u201d— Jacob Gallagher (@Jacob Gallagher) 1649039380
\u201ci'm not even a big virgil abloh guy but calling him a "hip-hop fashion designer" is wild disrespectful\u201d— \ud835\ude5c\ud835\ude67\ud835\ude56\ud835\ude63\ud835\ude69 \ud835\ude67\ud835\ude5e\ud835\ude63\ud835\ude59\ud835\ude63\ud835\ude5a\ud835\ude67 (@\ud835\ude5c\ud835\ude67\ud835\ude56\ud835\ude63\ud835\ude69 \ud835\ude67\ud835\ude5e\ud835\ude63\ud835\ude59\ud835\ude63\ud835\ude5a\ud835\ude67) 1649039425
\u201cMinimizing Virgil Abloh to a \u201cHip-Hop Fashion Designer\u201d is nasty behavior. Whoever at the Grammys that\u2019s responsible, you\u2019re not seeing heaven.\u201d— Ronald Isley (@Ronald Isley) 1649040659