If 2021 was a super power, it would be empathy. Never has there been a time in recent history where so many have been touched by shared fear, pain, and longing. No person, and no industry has been immune. Because of this, even that Everest of alchemy: fashion – has had to rethink their strategies and their offerings. For many, that meant simply new delivery systems or canceled shows, for others – it became an opportunity to help people think differently.
Virgil Abloh’s Fall Winter 2021 show for Louis Vuitton was a master class in storytelling as a tool to inspire empathy and evoke change. The designer crafted a short film directed by Wu Tang and featuring Mos Def to tell the story of being “different, illegible, othered.” Gorgeous, uncomfortable and compelling, it is a deeply layered tour de force that bears watching again and again. This is the year that every business and industry must ask how they can use the vehicle of their goods, services and messages to bring about badly needed change. Abloh sets the bar beautifully.