Just as I was about to send off my editor’s note, the very sad news of Virgil Abloh’s passing was released on his Instagram page in the middle of the night. The outpouring of grief and acknowledgements of his incredible vision and work flooded my feed. Over the next few days (and months), there will only be more tributes to a man who could do street as well as haute fashion with equal ease (an example of his genius is his second collaboration, as Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear, with streetwear titan Nigo, which yielded a collection of designs slated to be on every must-have list—including the novelty bag featured on page 47). The purveyor of cool, Abloh disrupted the fashion system with his inquisitive mind and endless enthusiasm for change. I’ve attended many of his Off-White shows while covering Paris Fashion Week and have always marvelled at the god-like status afforded to the label and the man himself. He was a rock star who opened doors and touched lives in a way that few designers ever could. He brought a new energy to Louis Vuitton when he took over the design mantle from Kim Jones in 2018, and sealed his status with his expansive and sometimes controversial approach to design and collaboration. As the designer frequently said: “Everything I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself.”
When I think back to my 17-year-old self, it was all about the supers who graced every fashion magazine cover, every fashion campaign and many a music video. The Supermodels, as they were called, included Christy, Naomi, Linda, Cindy et al, but also starred Helena Christensen, the dark-haired Danish beauty with piercing blue-green eyes. You wouldn’t have imagined that the fresh-faced, curvy 19-year-old would still be at the top of her game at 52—with more than three decades in front of and behind the lens (Christensen is an accomplished fashion photographer). Read all about our cover star’s exceptional life and why she says, “Copenhagen is my heart and New York is my head” on page 140.
Our ethos at BAZAAR has always been about being fabulous at every age. And we continue to sing that tune with this year’s Most Stylish Women list. Many new names surfaced during my discussion with the team, though there are others that you will already be familiar with. But what was illuminating for me was that some of the Gen Zers cited fashion greats such as Jean Paul Gaultier and Alexander McQueen as inspiration, while others said they threw caution to the wind and embraced print and colour when they hit their 40s. Find out more about these remarkably stylish women on page 55.
And finally, turn to page 116 for our annual Beauty Awards as we unveil the best of the best in skincare, makeup, bodycare and fragrances to get you looking and feeling incredible. I’ve always loved our Awards not just because it’s so extensive (this year’s has over 120 products), but also because it gives an honest review of what works and what just looks good in a glass bottle. And yes, there are lots of Christmas ideas in there as well.
Before I sign off my last editor’s note for the year, let me leave you with this quote from Abloh: “The most important thing to me in all of my work is paving a path for the next generation, for those who are coming after me.” Rest in power, Virgil.
—Kenneth Goh, Editor-in-Chief
Photography: Andrew Arthur
Creative direction: Windy Aulia
Styling: Jahulie Elizalde
Makeup: Christyna Kay
Hair: Jenni Iva Wimmerstedt
Photographer’s assistants: Blair Alley, Edoardo Cozzani
Stylist’s assistant: Rebeca Flores
Shot at Andrew Arthur Studio, New York