Over the weekend the world was rocked by the news of the untimely passing of visionary, designer, pioneer and trendsetter Virgil Abloh! The first BLACK American designer to spear head a luxury French fashion house. The Chicago native died at the age of 41 from a rare cancer called cardiac angiosarcoma which causes tumours to develop in muscles or blood vessels surrounding the heart.
Born to Ghanaian parents in Rockford Illinois, his mother was a seamstress and father managed a paint company.
Abloh graduated from University of Wisconsin in 2002 with a BSC in Civil engineering, he then went onto receive a Masters in Architecture from IIT (Illinois Institute of Technology). While studying at IIT Abloh met Rem Koolhass, a Dutch architect who helped spark his interest in fashion. It was also during this time his bromance with Kanye West started, which turned out to be very integral in his fashion career.
In 2013 Abloh started his own fashion label “Off-white” in Milan Italy, described by Abloh as “the grey area between black and white as the colour off-white”. The clothing line can be identified through its use of quotation marks, zip-ties, capital letters, and barricade tape. The brand blew up and garnered a cult-like following.
On March 25, 2018, Abloh was named artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear ready wear line, making him the first person of African descent to lead the brand’s menswear line, as well as one of the few black designers at the helm of a major French fashion house.
Abloh’s 1st Louis Vuitton show
After his passing, Louis Vuitton has announced that Abloh’s last collection for brand (SS-2022), will be presented as a tribute of his life and legacy in Miami on the 30th of November 2021.
Thank you for your creative mind Mr Abloh, we’re gonna keep two Virgil’s for life (twitter joke)!