During the "in memoriam" tribute segment at Sunday night's Grammys telecast, which honors figures in music who died over the past year, Virgil Abloh's face appeared on the screen with the words "Hip Hop Fashion Designer" under his name.
Needless to say, fans were not happy and quickly called out the Recording Academy on social media for the lazy wording, a label that seemingly diminishes what the multi-hyphenated Abloh has contributed to music, fashion, architecture, the visual arts and beyond.
"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," wrote one user, with others calling the description "insanely disrespectful" and "ignorant."
While Abloh certainly made lasting contributions to the hip-hop community (he art directed Kanye West, Kid Cudi, and A$AP Rocky etc.), he never claimed to be solely a "hip hop designer" nor sought out to design for people only in that community.
Perhaps a more fitting eulogy would have been something along the lines of "Designer, DJ, Producer"? Either way, as many users pointed out last night, the move left a poor taste in many people's mouths in what otherwise would've been a touching tribute.
Virgil was Louis Vuitton\u2019s FIRST person of African descent to lead their menswear line and one of the few Black designers at the helm of a major French fashion house. \n\nyet, @RecordingAcad thought \u2018hip hop fashion designer\u2019 was the appropriate title for him? TRASHhttps://twitter.com/saint/status/1510807304941223936\u00a0\u2026— Ashley Nicole Moss (@Ashley Nicole Moss) 1649049975
this is EXACTLY what the Grammys just did to Virgil Abloh\n\nit\u2019s like a racially-charged sneak diss or something\n\n@RecordingAcad get your shit togetherpic.twitter.com/IbahF0sNmE— daniel h \u26f7 (@daniel h \u26f7) 1649046840
The way that everyone is collectively so angry about \u201cVirgil Abloh, hip hop fashion designer\u201d like HOW did that even get approved by multiple people????— LOUIS (@LOUIS) 1649075387
Virgil Abloh was the damn artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear and founded a full-on fashion house in Milan. \n\nI get them trying to tie him to music in some way to \u201cexplain\u201d the inclusion to clueless people. But respect is more important than catering to a clueless personhttps://twitter.com/excitebikee/status/1510808226459275268\u00a0\u2026— Watching the Throne (@Watching the Throne) 1649047033
The Grammys calling Virgil Abloh a \u201chip-hop designer\u201d does not sit right with me. At all.— Kea (@Kea) 1649049174
Virgil Abloh was honored at #GRAMMYs and labeled as a "Hip-Hop Fashion Designer" \n\nLeave it at Fashion Designer and Icon...pic.twitter.com/JqnJRVgsFj— Sole Retriever (@Sole Retriever) 1649041780
Calling Virgil Abloh a \u201cHip-Hop Fashion Designer\u201d is insanely disrespectful and blindly ignorant\u2026 do betterpic.twitter.com/zHXLhZB6vv— Craig (@Craig) 1649040947
very disrespectful for the grammys to call virgil abloh a \u201chip hop fashion designer\u201d\u2026 the micro aggressive racism we see in fashion and entertainment today still baffles me— \ud835\udc2f\ud835\udc1e\ud835\udc2b\ud835\udc2c\ud835\udc1a\ud835\udc2b\ud835\udc1c\ud835\udc21\ud835\udc22\ud835\udc1e (@\ud835\udc2f\ud835\udc1e\ud835\udc2b\ud835\udc2c\ud835\udc1a\ud835\udc2b\ud835\udc1c\ud835\udc21\ud835\udc22\ud835\udc1e) 1649081873
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