Quotes and cable ties
Virgil Abloh had become a giant in the world of fashion throughout his career. He had also excelled in furniture design, as a DJ and as an artist. Above all, he was a good salesman and understood the importance of marketing: “New York Times” fashion critic Vanessa Friedman called Abloh the Karl Lagerfeld of millennials, and comparisons to Andy Warhol or Jeff Koons were never far behind.
His signatures, remixing clothes and symbols of identity as if they were musical samples, bold plays with silhouettes and letters, and a penchant for quotes and neckties, ran through his extensive oeuvre, creating imagery that is essential today.
Pushing the boundaries of fashion
Abloh was born in Rockford, Illinois in 1980 to Ghanaian immigrants. Instead of fashion, she studied civil engineering and architecture and found herself in Chicago’s skate and hip-hop scene. She met Kanye West when he was 22 years old and soon became the rapper’s creative director. In 2012, Abloh founded the fashion brand Been Trill, which became Pyrex Vision two years later and garnered attention with Ralph Lauren flannel shirts that were screen-printed with bold lettering. With the successor label Off-White, Abloh gained worldwide fame and was a finalist in the LVMH award for young designers.
In 2018 he was appointed artistic director of menswear at traditional French house Louis Vuitton and finally elevated his fashion, often dismissed as streetwear, into the high fashion stratosphere. His first show ended with a tearful hug from Kanye West, and Time named Abloh one of the most influential people of the year.. Still, Abloh wanted to push the boundaries of fashion; “Streetwear” or “designer” were not enough for him as a label.