What Paris Fashion Week Felt Like Without Virgil Abloh

Note: Corey Populus designs the streetwear brand Circulate Worldwide. Here he describes his experience at Paris Men’s Fashion Week.

The first time I went to Paris for Fashion Week was in 2018. I’ve always felt left out because I’m a streetwear geek. When it comes to sneakers, shirts, and skateboards, this is my lane. But when it comes to high-end fashion, I’m still not very knowledgeable in that area. My true friend Shane [Gonzales] who designs the Midnight Studios brand is completely immersed in that world. So for years he would go to Fashion Week and come back and tell me about it. And I’ve always felt excluded because that’s not my world. When Virgil started doing his thing, I thought, “Yo. Now I have a way to access it. I couldn’t go to all the other shows, but I had one more reason to appear. This season was the first time. that I was able to check out other shows and realized how strict they are and how lucky I was to be able to attend and go to the shows.

I met Virgil around 2010 or 2009. I used to work at Diamond Supply Co. on Fairfax. At some point Ibn Jasper started working a lot with Diamond and was always hanging out with Virgil. And for some reason Virgil gravitated towards me. It said, “Yo, so what’s the wave? What is everyone doing around here? What’s new?” We would just tear it apart and that’s how we made our friendship and stayed in touch over the years. He was really a huge skateboard fan and I always thought he was the older version of me because we had the same interests.

When I found out it had landed at Louis Vuitton, I thought it was a big deal. I’ve always seen Virgil as someone like me who really likes streetwear. And it was black. So, I was definitely shocked and I was super proud of him. I remember that day when all the photos were shot for the press and it was madness.

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