Pushing Forward

As a new year approaches, we’re counting our blessings
and daring to peer optimistically into the near future.

I’m not sure where the time went, but here we are … in December. We’re counting our blessings and daring to peer optimistically into the near future, because we have to.  We have to push forward and leave our mark, however we can.

We lost Virgil Abloh—the visionary founder of the fashion label Off-White and artistic director of Louis Vuitton Men’s—this week. He never considered himself a designer in the traditional sense, but as a true creator, he transcended fashion and left an indelible mark on culture.   

The shock of his death after a two-year, private battle with cancer, and just days before his much anticipated show in Miami, has left a bit of a dark cloud over Art Basel. It is in this time that I’m reminded of one of my mother’s sayings: “When you see someone who seems in a hurry to accomplish so much, never question it … who knows how much time God has given them.”

Abloh’s 41 years were not wasted and he made a point to inspire and mentor the next generation of creators by publishing his designs and playbook, sewing into the Ghanaian skate community, elevating culture and democratizing luxury at its highest levels.

As he said just three weeks ago in Qatar when I attended the opening of his Figures of Speech art installation, “I’m kind of obsessed with this idea of the mirror … we know we only have one wrung on this thing called life and I know that we each want to make this world a better place.”

Little did we know while dancing on the rooftop of Nobu as he DJed that this would be his last public gig. The last song he played was Bohemian Rhapsody in its entirety. “Carry on, carry oooooonnnnn … nothing really matters…”

Carry on we must.

In this issue, as always, we connect with people who are making their own mark on the world. For this month’s TAA Interview, we sat down with world-renowned bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana to talk cocktails and cultural exchange. We highlight up-and-coming artist Alex Proba as she makes her literal mark on Art Basel. And, of course, it wouldn’t be December without a gift guide. We tapped the coolest girl we know, Mosha Lundström Halbert, to share what she’s gifting this season. 

As we head into a new year, I’m wishing you a wonderful holiday season with those you hold dearest.

My best,

Aba Kwawu

President, TAA PR

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