Virgil Abloh Talks Louis Vuitton Legacy on Pharrell’s ‘OTHERtone’ Podcast



For their first episode of the new year, the OTHERtone team—Pharrell Williams, Fam-Lay, and Scott Vener—welcomed none other than Virgil Abloh and KAWS.

Deep into the discussion, Abloh spoke on the importance of his ongoing tenure at Louis Vuitton and the impact of his career at large, revealing that what’s most important to him is ensuring his success leads to similarly future-minded success for younger generations of artists.

“To me, there’s one level of the work that’s designing at Louis, but my real job is to make sure that there’s, like, six young Black kids that take my job after me,” Abloh said around seven minutes into the video excerpt at the top of this page. “For me, it’s not just to run around and make cool stuff. None of that really feeds my ego. What I would be more impressed by is the next candidate for a house that gets hired as the next head designer has this, like, multidisciplinary background and comes from, you know, not a fashion school and thinks in a different dimension and him get a shot.”

In his lifetime, Abloh added, he’s aiming to see continued shifts toward no longer having to “prove” one’s self in the fashion industry.

“I wanna see us not have to prove ourselves to be, like, hip-hop is formal,” he said. “It’s just as important as XYZ. Like, you can come from this school of thought and occupy positions that previously were surprising.” As Pharrell said when praising Abloh’s approach, this is part of the bigger goal of “holding open the door” after going through it.

“In fact, there are people who superglue the door behind them shut,” Pharrell added as a comparison.

Earlier into the discussion, Abloh reflected on recently turning 40 and how—for his generation—getting (technically) older doesn’t mean the same thing as it did for previous generations of artists.

“I definitely feel like we are—our generation, the same pocket between ’90s up until now, just the hotbed of culture—we are a new type of young generation that’s getting older,” he said around two minutes. “There’s something in it that our parents didn’t have. And obviously it was a different society but we’re able to hold onto our youth and be young and still put forth mature ideas. All of our brains are going through another level, where we have a whole body of work that we can reject but still feel as progressive as we were when we were 17.”

For the full 46-minute episode, click here to listen via Apple Podcasts.



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