“We really wanted to collaborate with a black designer who is paving the way,” says stylist Ade Samuel.
When Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan hit the Met Gala carpet in an Off-White tailored navy pinstripe suit by newly appointed Louis Vuitton menswear artistic director Virgil Abloh, it was more than just a fashion moment says stylist Ade Samuel.
While honoring Monday night's Met Gala theme of “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” it was also important to Samuel to stay true to what Jordan represents as “someone who has a prominent role in such a historically powerful movie like Black Panther,” she says. “We really wanted to collaborate with a black designer who is paving the way.”
For that, they turned to Abloh, “the first African-American artistic director at Louis Vuitton, who is such an innovator of culture,” says Samuel, who also styled Black Panther star Letitia Wright in a custom Coach look for the occasion.
Tying together the “boldness” of Black Panther with his own innovative approach to fashion, the designer created a custom suit for Jordan, the first of its kind for his streetwear line. “It was a very clean suit from Virgil. It’s very true to Off-White,” says Samuel, who added a diamond cross by David Yurman to the look to tie in the theme.
"Michael was able to have a meaningful moment for the Met, and really think about the whole aesthetic," says Samuel. The evening held a special significance for her as well. "This was my first time working with Michael, and having this moment was also huge for me."
Kendall Jenner also dressed in Off-White for the fete. Meanwhile, Abloh debuted his first menswear look for Louis Vuitton — on himself. He will present his first menswear collection for Louis Vuitton during Paris Fashion Week in June.