Odd Future founder Tyler, The Creator has had a profound impact on hip-hop since his emergence during the early 2010s, and since the crew’s dissipation in 2014, the LA native (real name Tyler Okonma) has been at the forefront of the culture.
From Goblin to IGOR and Flower Boy, the emcee and producer has always been an artist who prides himself on high-quality music. However, following the success of Odd Future’s skatewear and merchandise, Okonma began to take a significant interest in fashion.
Tyler, The Creator has always been a forward-thinking figure, and this was evident when he began designing garments. Since his emergence, the lyricist and trendsetter has always been outlandish, but before his transition into the world of fashion, he made sure to consult with one individual.
That said, in a 2021 interview with the online magazine Fast Lane, Okonma spoke about how he formed a deep relationship with the late designer Virgil Abloh before he rolled out his self-designed merchandise.
Virgil Abloh passed away in 2021 following a private two-year battle with cancer. However, during his lifetime, he was the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear and founded the Milan-based fashion house Off-White.
During the candid interview, Okonma revealed that, initially, he never liked Off-White, admitting, “When he was doing the Pyrex [Vision] and the Been Trill stuff, I was like, ‘Ugh, this is gross.’ Then, once he started doing the more recent stuff, the Off-White stuff, I was like, ‘Not for me.’ I would kinda mock it.”
Fortunately, Abloh was supportive of the emcee and loved his vision when he presented him with the prototypes for his GOLF le FLEUR* clothing line. In fact, Okonma highlighted a specific set of individuals who were particularly supportive of him at the beginning.
Recalling when he decided to go forward with the business and Virgil’s response, Okonma remembered, “2019 was when I decided like, ‘Ahh dude, I think I’m gonna do this [GOLF] le FLEUR* thing’, and who really pushed me to do it was my boy Dev Hynes, Solange and Virgil. He was like, ‘Oh, what do you need?'”
Abloh connected Tyler with various contacts around the world. Divulging this, the rhymer disclosed, “[Virgil was like], ‘Here, give me a week.’ Bro, he put me in contact with people in Italy, in here and there, emails and calls, FaceTimes with people I don’t know.”
Okonma concluded by highlighting his kindness, stating, “My hating, pretentious ass couldn’t fathom that someone could have such an open heart like that, and it took me a while to understand that. I’m like, ‘You are actually a fucking angel. You’re an angel, bro.'”
You can see a picture of Abloh below.