When it comes to the most iconic names in modern luxury streetwear fashion, Virgil Abloh sits at the top of this list.
Named as one of Time magazine's Top 100 Influential People of 2018, Virgil was raised in Rockford, Illinois, located just outside of the Chicago Metropolitan area. There he attended Boylan Catholic High School before heading off to the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he graduated with a Bachelors's degree in civil engineering. From there, Abloh shifted gears and attended the Illinois Institute of Technology, where his interest in fashion peaked after viewing a building being built on his campus designed by architect Rem Koolhaas. While earning his master's in Architecture, Virgil designed t-shirts and curated a fashion blog calledThe Brilliance.
After he departed from IIT, Abloh landed an internship with the "Loius Vittuion Don" Kanye West in 2009 with Fendi. They began their creative friendship working side by side in Fendi's Rome, Italy office. The designer's talents caught Louis Vittuions CEO's eye, Michael Burke, after West put Burke onto Abhol's exceptional vision and skills.
From there, it was nothing but high stakes for the designer when he teamed up with Kanye and West's best friend Don C to curate the store RSVP Gallery located in Chicago that showcased Virgil's fashion stylings. Shortly after accepted his position with RSVP Gallery, West appointed Abloh to be the creative director of West's creative agency DONDA, named after his mother.
The world was whatever Virgil wanted it to be. With every opportunity to follow his dreams within reach, he launched his first company called Pyrex Vision. With Pyrex Vision, Virgil acquired Ralph Lauren's deadstock for $40, recreated his own designs on them, and flipped the garments with price tags hitting $500 or more. Pyrex Vision was shut down shortly after its creation so that Virgil could shift the company's direction.
Abhol turned his focus to opening his first luxury streetwear fashion house Off- White, based in Milan, Italy. When asked why he chose the name Off- White, he explained to fashion critics and investors that it was "the gray area between black and white as the color Off-White."
His designs spread across Paris, Asia-Pacific, and into the states taking the streetwear industry by storm with his infamous use of barricade tape, quotation marks, zip-ties, and capital letters.
Virgil: the King of Collabs
In 2017 Virgil was approached by sneaker giant Nike to create a new collection of Nike best-sellers' recreations entitled "The Ten." A couple of short years later, Virgil partnered with Swedish furniture company IKEA to produce furniture under his own branded collection called Markerad.
The following year Virgil was named the artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear ready wear line, making him the first African American to sit at the head of the French fashion houses menswear line. Virgil's 2018 debuted his first collection at Men's Fashion Week at the Palais-Royal gardens in Paris, France. With the celebs like A$AP Nast, Dev Hynes, Kid Cudi Playboi Carti, and Steve Lacy walking in his show. Since then, Virgil has been one of the most sought-after designers of our time, and we have a feeling that he will continue to dominate the luxury streetwear industry for years to come.
For more in fashion news and trends, take a closer look at what else this Off - White has been up to in fashion.
Source: Virgil Abloh