Recently Rachel and I were invited to Paris by Louis Vuitton on an all-expenses paid trip to the launch of their new designer Virgil Abloh’s new collection. As the only invited clients from the UK it was quite the honour and an incredible experience. The fashion show itself was like something out of the Wizard of Oz, and Virgil put something close to my heart at the centre of his approach – diversity and inclusivity – putting the Rainbow Flag prominently throughout.
Virgil Abloh is quite an inspiration. As I came to find out during the show he wasn’t originally trained in fashion. In fact, he got his degree in civil engineering and an MA in architecture and later became known for his collaborations with Kanye West. He clearly likes breaking down barriers, and as a Ghanaian-American, he is the first designer of African descent to be the artistic director of Louis Vuitton men’s wear collection and managed to be listed in Time magazine 100 most influential people in the world in 2018. His approach, that he lives life on his terms, is something that is at the heart of why I started Learn to Trade and my charity the Greg Secker Foundation. We all have a choice in life to be the best version of ourselves, and to help raise those around us to be the best they can be too.
The show itself was like a kaleidoscope of colour and energy, which for those who know me, was right up my street. The event also showcased something that is also at the heart of my philosophy that businesses have a responsibility to give back to the community. For the Greg Secker Foundation you will have read about our work building an entire village in the Philippines for families who lost everything in Typhoon Haiyan. Louis Vuitton also make charity a core part of their approach. You may not be aware but every year Louis Vuitton does a huge amount of work for good causes including partnering with Unicef to raise over five million dollars this year to provide humanitarian support for children in urgent need as part of their #MakeAPromise campaign.
In fact, I first got to know the Vuitton family through a fundraiser they were part of called the Naked Heart Fabulous Fund Fair. I am looking forward to joining one of their humanitarian missions in the future. Their passion to make a difference is palpable and goes far beyond signing a donation cheque at the end of each year; they put their passion to use to encourage many others and behind the scenes inspire high-net worth individuals to make a positive difference in this world.
We only have one community, and there are seven billion of us on this planet who are all part of it. I have learnt first-hand that wealth alone will never be enough – a fruitless task given there will always be someone fighting the race to have the biggest bank account. Instead, I choose to grow and apply my wealth to make a difference and my mission is to inspire others to do the same.
Taking a cue from the incredible vibrancy and diversity of Virgil’s show on the catwalk, we all have a choice in this world; we can choose to be best version of ourselves and embrace the great tapestry of opportunities that are presented to us, or we can choose to do the same today as we did yesterday wishing for a different life. I know which one I find more exciting, and Virgil is proof that we don’t have to be constrained by traditional rules, all it takes is to make the decision to make a difference – and I don’t believe that will never go out of fashion!