Tribute to Virgil Abloh

A Conversation with Faye McLeod, Florence Müller, Ansel Thompson, and Matthew Yokobosky

Moderated by Claude Grunitzky

Thursday, November 17, 2022
Followed by a Cocktail Reception
In Person and Livestreamed
FIAF Skyroom

In English

Join LVMH Visual Image Director Faye Mcleod, LVMH Art Director Ansel Thompson, and curator Matthew Yokobosky for a conversation about Virgil Abloh’s influence on the fashion industry and beyond.

Drawing inspiration from music, art, pop culture and design, Abloh collaborated with artists like Jay-Z and Takashi Murakami, and brands like Nike and Mercedes Benz. A champion of streetwear, Abloh integrated a younger, urban style into the world of luxury. One year after his tragic passing, we remember Abloh’s legacy as the iconic founder of Off-White and the Creative Director of Menswear for Louis Vuitton.

Presented in partnership with Institut Français de la Mode, the discussion will be moderated by Claude Grunitzky, founder of TRACE magazine and TRUE Africa.

The evening will conclude with a cocktail reception. The recently released Louis Vuitton: Virgil Abloh (Assouline, September 2022) will be on display at the reception for guests to reference.

Please Note: Due to unexpected circumstances, fashion historian Florence Müller is no longer able to join us for the talk.

60 minutes

About the Guests

Faye McLeod

Faye McLeod is the Visual Image Director at LVMH. McLeod started as a window dresser at De Gruchey in Jersey, she moved to London and began working at Selfridges as part of the Creative Direction team, moving into visual merchandising under the lead of Vittorio Radice. Over the next twelve years she worked as a window designer in New York and London, this included 3 years at Liberty, where, perhaps accidentally she notoriously graffitied the entire building with acrylic paint. In 2009 she became the Creative Director of Visual Merchandising for Louis Vuitton and later advanced to her current role in 2012. Her job includes dreaming up striking window displays for Louis Vuitton’s global storefronts.

Florence Müller

Florence Müller is a highly-regarded fashion and art historian, independent curator and professor. She is also a board member of the Fondation of Institut Français de la Mode in Paris. She has an extensive experience with museums and collections in Europe, USA and Asia and has contributed to more than 100 exhibitions worldwide, including the 2012 Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective exhibition, as well as the renowned exhibition Christian Dior, designer of dreams in 2018, in Paris, and in 2021, at the Brooklyn museum. She is also the author of more than 40 books, and co-author of L’Histoire du look, a series of documentaries covering the history of costume.

Ansel Thompson

Ansel Thompson has worked for LVMH for over eleven years as the Design/Art Director within the Visual Image Studio. Ansel studied industrial design at Central Saint Martins and continued at the University of the Arts London as part of a socially responsive, practice-based research initiative and as a visiting lecturer. Before Louis Vuitton he ran his own design and construction studio working across multiple disciplines. His aim is to nourish, nurture and direct the creative process.

Matthew Yokobosky

Prior to being appointed Senior Curator of Fashion and Material Culture in 2018, Matthew Yokobosky was the Director of Exhibition Design at the Brooklyn Museum (1999-2018) as well as the Associate Curator of Film and Video at the Whitney Museum of American Art (1987-1999). Yokobosky has curated and designed exhibitions in Los Angeles, Seoul, Copenhagen, Paris, and London, and has won a Bessie award for his work with the theater director Ping Chong.

Claude Grunitzky

Claude Grunitzky is the CEO and Managing Partner of Equity Alliance, a new fund dedicated to providing capital to venture capitalists and entrepreneurs in America who are women or people of color. Claude is also the founder of two media companies, TRACE, funded by Goldman Sachs, and TRUE Africa, funded by Google. Claude, a curator for FIAF’s 2021 edition of “Crossing the Line” festival, was raised between Lomé, Togo; Paris; London and New York. Growing up, Claude, who speaks six languages and carries three passports, was exposed to many different cultures. These foreign interactions shaped his transcultural philosophy and informed the creative energy of his ventures. A graduate of London University and MIT, where he earned an MBA as a Sloan Fellow, Claude is also a trustee at MASS MoCA, and a longtime trustee at Humanity in Action.

  • The Visual Image Studio
    • The Visual Image Studio, otherwise known as the Ideation Studio by Virgil Abloh, is based between London and Paris. Its function is to design and realise the 3d world (space), both physical and digital, that exists between the product itself and the bricks and mortar of the Louis Vuitton architecture. Expanding on his creative philosophy the windows are a narrative space where theatre can constantly exist in the public realm. The practice, which consists of approximately 30 designers and producers creates the windows, facades and bespoke experiences globally. The studio has previously collaborated with many artists and designers including Frank Gehry, Daniel Buren, Yayoi Kusama and Urs Fisher.

      Faye McLeod (Visual Image Director) and Ansel Thompson (Art / Design Director) have directed the studio for over a decade. Our aim is to keep the projects nourished, a creative kitchen of imagination where we encourage designers to be inquisitive and rebellious.