Mikelle Street

Virgil Abloh, Rihanna and Luka Sabbat Are Masters Of Everything – by Mikelle Street

We are not the generation of our parents.

As a part of New York Fashion Week, Luka Sabbat launched his new creative platform Hot Mess, as a residency at Milk. Debuting with a gallery opening that hosted everyone from A$AP Rocky to Pusha T and Cardi B, it was a pretty buzzy way to kick of the season. But not too long before that, Luka and his Hot Mess creative partner photographer Noah Dillon explained just what they were starting.

“Hot Mess is a creative platform for anyone who wants to do anything,” Luka explained. “But … we’re obviously going to handpick who is involved.” Noah went further.

“Hot Mess is about breaking down these boundaries of keeping people in boxes,” the teenage photographer explained. “It’s like Luka is a model, sike he’s actually this creative person that’s doing all of this stuff. I’m a photographer but I also have a band.” That approach is indicative of an entire generation’s thought process to working and careers today.

A few months ago I was chatting with a friend of mine who happens to be an art critic and we were discussing lives as freelancers. “I just changed my bio to writer+,” he told me, referring to his new Twitter descriptor. “Because, I’m a writer when I write, but that’s not all I do.” And it’s true seeing as he’s given a TedxTalk, consults with brands, maintains a reputation as an Instagram influencer, functions as on-screen talent and hopes to get into gallery curation. But this isn’t the way of the generations before us.

The generation of our parents saw a very narrow view of successWork hard in school, go to college and earn a degree in a certain area, work your way up the latter in that field and by virtue of time and promotion you’ll get your due. It was about mastering your arena, it was about being the best with your prescribed skill set and that came from years of training. You’ve no doubt encountered it in your own life when older people say things like “jack of all trades, master of none,” or “find your niche” or any sort of talk about specializing or becoming
an expert. But that’s not the case anymore.

Rihanna is a singer. Sure, she’s a performer. But isn’t she also a designer that’s helped turn around what’s happening at Puma? Beyonce is an entertainer but doesn’t she also have a hand in all the creative and production of her own shows? Isn’t Kanye West not only a rapper but a producer as well as a designer himself? And while you may think, well those are just A-list celebrities, isn’t the same the case with Kanye’s creative director Virgil Abloh. Though Virgil studied architecture in school and still uses that to create furniture, he also runs Off-White a contemporary fashion brand boasting pieces made in the same factories as Louis Vuitton, helps Kanye come up with his album artwork and runs a publishing house. And Luka? Social media influencer, stylist, art director and model. You no doubt have a friend that falls into this category, or maybe you do yourself.

And there’s nothing wrong with that. With the internet, there’s a proliferation of info out there that makes the world your oyster; switching up career paths or creative pursuits becomes as easy as changing your Instagram handle. And while that might sound a little ADD at first, by establishing a unique voice and approach to whatever you may tackle allows you the opportunity to develop an engaged audience and an entire world for them to experience.



Mikelle Street is a Manhattan-based freelance writer and editor. You can follow him on Twitter here.