Virgil Abloh is one of the most popular designers in the modern age. Known for his line, Off-White, he is also the artistic director of Louis Vuitton‘s menswear. Virgil Abloh gained prominence in the last decade with the rise of luxury streetwear, with some noting him as being the trend’s pioneer.
Abloh was born in Rockford, Illinois, on September 30, 1980. His parents were immigrants from Ghana, and his mother was a seamstress, while his father was the manager of a paint company.
Louis Vuitton named Virgil Abloh its artistic director for menswear in 2018. This made him one of the few black people to ever lead a top fashion house, and the first black American to lead a French one.
Aside from Louis Vuitton, Abloh’s own line, Off-White, has established a reputable name for itself, and it has launched collaborations with partners such as Nike. Perhaps his most famous collaboration is his long-running association with Kanye West.
On the runway, Virgil Abloh is regarded as one of the pioneers of high-end street fashion, or what he has called the “post-streetwear movement,” with roots in the classic streetwear that originated in hip-hop and skating culture. When the lines between luxury and streetwear were torn down, Virgil Abloh‘s influence was everywhere, from Balenciaga selling puffer jackets to Dior collaborating with Nike on limited edition Air Jordans to Louis Vuitton partnering with Supreme to Gucci working with legendary Harlem designer Dapper Dan.
But not only on the runways is Virgil Abloh a name to remember, but this influential artist is also very prominent in the contemporary art world.
TECHNICOLOR 2 opened at Gagosian in Paris during Paris Fashion Week in June 2018, having already opened earlier that year in London. The show was a collaboration between Abloh and Takashi Murakami and was filled with silk-screened t-shirts and Murakami’s graphics.
As well as designing clothes, Virgil Abloh also designs furniture, and in June 2019 he signed with Parisian design studio Galerie Kreo. Abloh has so far shown furniture at Design Miami and in October 2019 he had a bronze piece in a show called Dark Fantasy at UTA Artist Space in LA. He even had work on display alongside Rick Owens and Michele Lamy at the Carpenter’s Workshop Gallery that ran alongside the 2019 Venice Biennale. On top of this, Virgil Abloh has also released his own furniture line with design company Vitra, launching a chair that coincided with the opening of Art Basel in 2019.
Towards the end of 2019, the Louvre announced a collaboration with Off-White to celebrate their Leonardo da Vinci exhibition, which included t-shirts and hoodies, all of which were photographed at the Louvre (of course).
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