GIVING BACK: As part of his ongoing pledge to mentor young people, Virgil Abloh is expanding his work through Louis Vuitton’s partnership with UNICEF.
Having designed a Silver Lockit bracelet last year to raise funds for the United Nations agency’s emergency programs, the U.S. designer is taking the activation a step further by participating in Generation Unlimited, a program focused on youth and entrepreneurship in Ghana, the country where his parents were born.
To coincide with the presentation of his spring 2022 men’s collection on Thursday, Vuitton said it was donating $380,000 to UNICEF education programs in the African country.
Abloh will lead a masterclass focused on entrepreneurship, creativity and becoming a positive changemaker in one’s community with a live audience of more than 250 people. The event will be livestreamed on Facebook, in a broadcast that is expected to reach more than 365,000 people.
“A member of the Ghanaian diaspora, Virgil Abloh is devoted to making a personal contribution to help accelerate results for children and young people in Ghana,” Vuitton said in a statement, noting that young people make up a third of Ghana’s population of 30 million.
“A key ambition is to inspire African youth to develop creative projects, which link African art and culture to the global markets and create awareness of the Black canon,” it added.
Lanvin Resort 2022
Last year, Abloh revealed he had raised $1 million for a scholarship fund for Black fashion students, entering a long-term partnership with the Fashion Scholarship Fund to launch the Virgil Abloh “Post Modern” Scholarship Fund, endowed with a personal donation from the designer and matching funds from his partners Evian, Farfetch, Louis Vuitton and New Guards Group.
“I was a student on a campus that was largely not as diverse as the world is. And it’s important to set up this foundation specifically for Black students who may feel like in the industry of fashion, they don’t see many people that they can identify with,” he told WWD at the time.
To date, Vuitton’s Silver Lockit bracelet has raised more than $14 million for UNICEF. In 2020, funds collected through the program supported the agency’s emergency response to the deadly blast in Beirut.
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