Rest in Power Virgil

I came to know Virgil in way that was actually an extreme foreshadowing to what would become the narrative of our relationship and even more so to his meteoric rise in fashion and beyond. I was working on a project for Nike Soccer and spent a couple weeks building a special program. At the heart of the program the idea was to center a merch program juxtaposing soccer jersey’s and streetwear.  I was really happy with what we were about to present but as a last way of just double checking my work before submitting it, I decided to Google search “flannel shirt soccer jersey” because that was one of the main items in my design brief. It didn’t come up right away but what I shortly found myself staring at on my screen was a much better version then what I had just spent a good week or two ideating and laboring over, and not only was the product dope, there was already an editorial photo shoot that to this day I reference when thinking of how to tell a story through product design.  The product and editorial I am talking about was the first images of “Pyrex”. Unbeknownst to me and almost out of pure luck.  I just happened to have stumbled upon the launch of Pyrex before anyone had heard of it.  We knew each other only in passing at that time but I was able to get his info and I emailed him asking if Union could carry the soon to launch collection. He responded immediately (as I later came to know he always would) and said he was humbled and honored to be considered for Union and would consider it a great favor for us to launch, the yet to go live brand.  That was the last time he ever needed a favor from me and from that point on the tables were turned.  I would spend the next 10 or so years watching his assent and over those years it was often me asking for favors from him, which he always obliged!!!

Pyrex went on to be one of the single most successful launches of a brand that Union has ever had and was the predecessor to OFF-WHITE which changed the game as we know it. And oh… that foreshadowing I spoke about earlier.  It unfolded in two ways;

One, the humble start of Pyrex and violent success was an early indicator of what was to be be and I am just honored to have had a front row seat to watch and learn.

Two, I am not too proud to admit that much like with him being one step ahead of me as a designer on my Nike soccer idea.   I could have never known then, that I years later,  we would end up both having what I would call a health annual rivalry through the lens of our Jordan collabs. And much like our first meeting he was always one step ahead of me. And through it all he was always as gracious, humble and accessible as he was from day one. I personally want to offer  my most sincere and heartfelt condolences to all of Virgil’s friends and family