Tyler, the Creator recently sat down with Fast Company to discuss his high-end line Golf le Fleur. During the discussion, which took place just days after the tragic death of Virgil Abloh on Nov. 28, Tyler opened up about his relationship with the late fashion icon.
“In 2019, it was when I decided, ‘Oh, dude. I think I’m going to do this le Fleur thing. And who really pushed me to do it was my boy Dev Hynes, Solange, and Virgil,” Tyler explained in the video above. “And I was like, ‘Yo, man, I think I want to do this thing.’”
Tyler, 30, revealed that 41-year-old Virgil was quick to lend him a helping hand, putting him in touch with numerous people across the fashion industry. “He’s like, ‘Oh, what do you need?’ I’m like, ‘Well, I don’t even know where to…’ ‘Here. Give me a week,’ [Virgil said]. Bro, he put me in contact with people in Italy and here and there, emails [and] calls, FaceTimes with people I don’t know,” he said.
Tyler continued, revealing at the 20:44 mark, “And this was the week that I was going to say, ‘Hey, Virgil, what you helped me with, what you got me started with, what your helping hand did, I finally get to show you what you did.’ I was like, ‘Fuck.’ I wanted him here so bad to see like, ‘Hey, look what I did.’ Because I wanted him to just say, ‘Fire.’ And I wanted him to know.”
T highlighted how much Virgil inspired others, saying, “He went out of his fucking way for everyone. It even took me a while to realize that.”
“[Virgil was] good-hearted,” he added. “I remember being weird. Like, ‘Why he fuck with everybody?’ Years ago. Not in a bad way, but I couldn’t—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. And I’m just like, ‘You are actually a fucking angel. You’re an angel, bro.’ He left his imprint. He did that. He did that. He a giant. I mean, that’s a giant. He did that. Did it.”
Elsewhere in the conversation, Tyler, the Creator was asked if there’s a skill he wants to improve. “I wish I could get better at singing, but my voice isn’t yet suited for the way I want to sing,” he explained at the nine-minute mark. “For the vocal phrasing I attempt, my voice is too deep and raspy, which inversely ends up making it special.”
T is also interested in potentially using his birth name more often. “My full name, Tyler Okonma, in all caps just looks cool. You might see more of that. I don’t know, I’m getting older, and I think when people get older they start realizing shit. I think my version of that is looking at my name and saying, ‘Oh this is actually cool,’” he reflected.
While discussing how he frequently revisits old ideas, Tyler revealed some of his songs have found homes years after they were originally recorded. “See You Again” off 2017’s Flower Boy was first recorded in 2014, when he met Kali Uchlis, who’s featured. The original drum pattern for Igor’s “Gone, Gone/Thank You,” meanwhile, was initially intended for his 2013 album Wolf.
Tyler previously opened up about the support Virgil gave him. A day after Abloh died, the Call Me If You Get Lost artist took to Instagram to post a tribute to the late creative, sharing how Abloh’s legacy will continue to inspire him moving forward.
“That hand of his opened doors, lead people in and tossed the keys outside for the next person to have,” Tyler wrote on Nov. 29. “I wish i was able to see him see what his helping hand did for me. His spirit is around tho. I feel it. He’ll see it. I’ll keep pushing and trying things while leaving the door open. He’ll shake those pom-poms. We’ll keep that on loop.”
The new interview is also not the first time Tyler paid homage to Virgil with regards to Golf le Fleur specifically. He credited Virgil with helping him obtain “certain materials from Europe,” saying, “Some of these Golf le Fleur clothes are made in Italy and are handmade, and do you know who set all that up for me? [Virgil] did. He was on calls and emails setting this stuff up for me in a world that I didn’t know, schooling me on so much, and [with] the launch, I wanted him there so bad so he could see what his helping hand turned into.”