Over the weekend, The Recording Academy paid tribute to the late Virgil Abloh with. However, they immediately faced backlash for labeling the prolific innovator as a “hip-hop fashion designer” during the Grammys “In Memoriam” segment.
Abloh, who was the artistic director of menswear at Louis Vuitton and his own brand, Off-White, broke barriers across various industries and solidified himself as a multi-hyphenate. With a lengthy summary, the designer had a long list of achievements that includes his collaborations with Nike, Ikea, creative direction for many of Kanye West’s albums, as well as receiving a Master of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology. The ceremony also made no mention of the fact that he was previously Grammy-nominated for Best Recording Package for his work on JAY-Z and Ye’s Watch the Throne album.
Fans immediately took to Twitter to express their disapproval of the label and reminded The Recording Academy that he was more than just a designer. one-fan pointed out, “Virgil’s tribute should’ve just been something along the lines of ‘GRAMMY Nominated Visual Artist and Fashion Designer.’ Including the word “hip-hop” was unnecessary.” Take a look at some reactions below.
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 4, 2022
The Grammys calling Virgil Abloh a “Hip Hop Fashion Designer”…big yikes
— Jacob Gallagher (@jacobwgallagher) April 4, 2022
Virgil Abloh was the damn artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear and founded a full-on fashion house in Milan.
I get them trying to tie him to music in some way to “explain” the inclusion to clueless people. But respect is more important than catering to a clueless person https://t.co/AukjB0BXzl
— Watching the Throne (@KanyePodcast) April 4, 2022
Virgil’s tribute should’ve just been something along the lines of “GRAMMY Nominated Visual Artist and Fashion Designer”.
Including the word “hip-hop” was unnecessary.
— Photos Of Ye (@PhotosOfKanye) April 4, 2022
The list of accomplishments Virgil had in fashion, art, architecture, music, etc. is longer than most people at the Grammy’s combined. It’s crazy to me that they thought it was a good idea to diminish his life’s work to being a “hip-hop fashion designer”!
— Kanika Talwar (@Kanika_Talwar) April 4, 2022
very disrespectful for the grammys to call virgil abloh a “hip hop fashion designer”… the micro aggressive racism we see in fashion and entertainment today still baffles me
— ?????????? (@arxhiiie) April 4, 2022
this is EXACTLY what the Grammys just did to Virgil Abloh
— daniel h ⛷ (@daniels_visions) April 4, 2022
Calling Virgil Abloh a “Hip-Hop Fashion Designer” is insanely disrespectful and blindly ignorant… do better pic.twitter.com/zHXLhZB6vv
—Craig (@DebatingHipHop_) April 4, 2022
The way that everyone is collectively so angry about “Virgil Abloh, hip hop fashion designer” like HOW did that even get approved by multiple people????
— LOUIS (@LOUIS_via_ROMA) April 4, 2022
In case you missed it, here are the 2022 GRAMMY Winners.