Who is Virgil Abloh ?

 

Virgil Abloh, a fashion icon, a world-renowned DJ and the man who started one of the biggest clothing brands in modern society. On the other hand, his journey to the top wasn't easy


Born in Rockford, Illinois, Virgil commenced his journey at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He left the institution with an undergraduate diploma in Civil Engineering. Many people claim that Virgil's creativity is directly influenced by his schooling choices. Furthermore, Virgil decided to complete his masters in architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

This resume is quite impressive, considering that Virgil dominates the fashion landscape, without an education in the domain. On the other hand, many people discredit his work because of this.


Virgil started to make an impact on the fashion community when he started working with Kanye West in 2002. Rumor has it that Virgil skipped his critique day at school to be able to attend a meeting with Kanye's old manager, John Monopoly. Virgil and Kanye commenced their collaborations soon after.  


Fast-forward 4 years later, Virgil started to contribute consistently, to the legendary fashion blog, "The Brilliance". The blog was founded by two gentlemen,  Chuck Anderson and Ben Gott in 2005. The blog has great importance to Virgil's career since he released his first t-shirt design on the platform. Virgil continues to contribute to the platform but at a very minimal rate.


2009 was a big year, for the creative monster. Both Kanye West and Virgil Abloh were appointed an internship at Fendi in Rome. Furthermore,  Michael Burke, CEO of Louis Vuitton, recently spoke with "The New York Times" about the matter. “I was really impressed with how [Abloh and West] brought a whole new vibe to the studio and were disruptive in the best way. Virgil could create a metaphor and a new vocabulary to describe something as old-school as Fendi. I have been following his career ever since.” Almost a year later, Kanye appointed Virgil to be his creative director at Donda, Kanye's creative agency.


In 2011, Virgil Abloh started working with Riccardo Tisci on Kanye West's and Jay-Z's collab album, Watch The Throne. They were both art directors for the project and both of them were nominated for best recording package, at the Grammy's.


Everything seemed to be working in Virgil's favor, as in 2012, he opened his first boutique RSVP, with Kanye's old tour manager, Don C (Don Crawley).


2012 was a huge year for Virgil Abloh. Everyone thought Virgil was finished for the year, but he went ahead and opened his first clothing line, Pyrex. Abloh purchased deadstock rugby flannels from Ralph Lauren and printed the branding Pyrex 23 on the back. Virgil drew inspiration from his childhood hero Michael Jordan, for the number 23. He also saw Pyrex as an experiment project.


Once 2013 came along, Virgil Abloh launched his own brand, Off White. Off White was the deciding factor that cemented Virgil's career. The branding behind the name is the most impressive feature out of everything because it's the variable that sent the fashion world into shock. The world was so impressed with the icon's work, and everyone knew Virgil had a high seat in fashion. Off-White also penetrated the sneaker market, as they collaborated with Nike, Jordan, and Converse to re-create 10 pairs of iconic shoes. All of the shoes have a resell value of over 500$, and some resell for almost 5000$.


In 2015, he became the only American to be a finalist for the LVMH prize for young fashion designers. Not too bad for an architect.


To conclude, Virgil's greatest accomplishment came in 2018, when he was appointed as Men's Creative Director at Louis Vuitton. At this point, is there a ceiling for the man in charge of Louis Vuitton's artistic decisions?

 

Anthony D'aliesio

Not For Radio Podcasts

 


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