Virgil's Legacy

A look into Virgil Abloh's amazing career
Virgil Abloh's amazing career in hindsight
BY Anssi Karjala

In the world of fashion, there are pioneers who redefine the industry, leaving an indelible mark on its landscape. Virgil Abloh, a visionary designer, creative director, and polymath, undoubtedly stands among them. His journey through the realm of fashion has been nothing short of revolutionary, reshaping the way we perceive style, luxury, and culture.

Virgil Abloh

Early Beginnings and Education

Virgil Abloh was born in 1980 in Rockford, Illinois, with a passion for art and design pulsing through his veins from an early age.

After earning a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a Master of Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Abloh’s trajectory took an unexpected turn toward the world of fashion.

Early Career

In the early stages of his career, Virgil Abloh emerged as a trailblazing force in the fashion world, leaving an indelible mark with his innovative ventures such as Been Trill and Pyrex Vision.

Co-founding Been Trill in 2012 alongside influential figures like Matthew Williams, Heron Preston, and Justin Saunders, Abloh established a collective that became synonymous with the intersection of streetwear, music, and digital culture.

Through collaborative DJ sets, viral graphics, and immersive multimedia experiences, Been Trill quickly rose to prominence, captivating a global audience hungry for boundary-pushing style.

Simultaneously, Abloh launched Pyrex Vision, a pioneering fashion label that repurposed vintage garments with bold graphic prints and distinctive aesthetics.

With Pyrex Vision, Abloh challenged conventional notions of luxury and elevated streetwear to an unprecedented level of cultural relevance.

These early endeavors laid the foundation for Abloh's meteoric rise in the fashion industry, showcasing his visionary approach to design and collaboration.

Founding Off-White™

In 2012, Abloh founded Off-White™, a luxury fashion label that would become synonymous with streetwear culture and high fashion.

With its distinctive diagonal stripes, quotation marks, and industrial motifs, Off-White™ disrupted traditional fashion norms, blurring the lines between street style and high-end couture.

Abloh's keen eye for design and his ability to capture the zeitgeist propelled Off-White™ to the forefront of the industry.

Collaborations and Partnerships

Throughout his illustrious career, Abloh forged partnerships with some of the most iconic figures and brands in fashion and beyond.

Notably, his collaboration with Nike resulted in the creation of "The Ten" collection, a groundbreaking reimagining of classic Nike silhouettes.

This collaboration was a testament to Abloh's ability to seamlessly blend streetwear sensibilities with athletic aesthetics, garnering widespread acclaim and adoration from sneakerheads and fashion enthusiasts alike.

Role at Louis Vuitton

Virgil Abloh Ebene Monogram Coated Canvas Airplane Bag Silver Hardware, 2021

In 2018, Abloh made history as the first African-American artistic director for Louis Vuitton's menswear division. His appointment marked a significant milestone for diversity and inclusivity in the luxury fashion world.

Louis Vuitton FW20

Under his stewardship, Louis Vuitton experienced a renaissance, with Abloh infusing the brand's storied heritage with his signature streetwear-inspired aesthetic.

Louis Vuitton FW19

His collections for Louis Vuitton seamlessly fused luxury craftsmanship with urban culture, captivating audiences worldwide and solidifying his status as a visionary tastemaker.

Legacy and Impact

Virgil Abloh's influence extends far beyond the realm of fashion. As a multifaceted creative force, he has made waves in music, art, and design, blurring the boundaries between disciplines and redefining the concept of the modern polymath.

Louis Vuitton SS19

His ethos of inclusivity, innovation, and boundary-pushing creativity has inspired a new generation of designers and artists, leaving an indelible imprint on the cultural zeitgeist.

In November 2021, Virgil Abloh tragically passed away after a private battle with cancer, leaving behind a towering legacy that continues to resonate with countless admirers around the globe.

Skepta wearing LV

His relentless pursuit of excellence, coupled with his unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of creativity, ensures that his impact on the fashion industry and beyond will endure for generations to come.

Louis Vuitton SS20

Virgil Abloh's remarkable journey serves as a testament to the transformative power of passion, vision, and perseverance.

As we reflect on his groundbreaking contributions to the world of fashion, let us celebrate his enduring legacy and continue to honor his spirit of innovation and inclusivity in all facets of our lives.

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