This week, Kid Cudi appeared on The Tonight Show to chat with Jimmy Fallon about his new album-slash-animated-feature Entergalactic, the movie X and the “mommy” edit he made, and, naturally, his Esquire cover. And while a lot of the folks at home were surely more focused on the now-infamous sock photo—you know the one—what really caught our eyes at ESQ HQ was the cardigan he was wearing.
You can’t miss it: big, bright, shaggy, and striped, it’s definitely a statement sweater in the traditional sense that it grabs your attention. But we’re guessing there’s more of a statement beyond that initial, superficial one. Because this wasn’t any old sweater from any old brand. This particular sweater was from Louis Vuitton, specifically the pre-fall capsule collection “Daybreak.” That’s important to know because it was the last collection Virgil Abloh designed for the French fashion house before his untimely passing in November 2021.
Cudi and Abloh were friends and collaborators, of course, working together most recently on Entergalactic, for which Abloh sketched some of the outfits the characters wear in the Netflix animated feature. And the album itself is dedicated to Abloh. So it doesn’t feel like much of a stretch to think that wearing that sweater—a standout in a collection that feels like a distillation of Abloh’s design ethos, especially seeing it months after the designer’s death—was a very intentional move on Cudi’s part.
We talk a lot about how clothing can send a message. How it can telegraph a sense of respect for an occasion, a mood, or simply a part of your personality. Cudi proves that in some instances, it can cut even deeper, showing not just good taste but a tribute to a fallen friend who left us way too soon.
Jonathan Evans is the style director of Esquire, covering all things fashion, grooming, accessories, and, of course, sneakers. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son. You can follow him at @MrJonathanEvans on Twitter and Instagram.
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