Virgil Abloh - the man who designed hype fashion - ALPHET

Virgil Abloh - the man who designed hype fashion

Apr 08, 2022Nir Karta

Who is Virgil Abloh?


Who is Virgil Abloh anyway and what does he has to do with sneakers and streetwear ?!


For those of you who know and those who do not, the late Virgil Abloh was one of the leading and groundbreaking designers of this era, who among other things served as the creative director of the fashion giant Louis Vitton, and the founder of the Off White brand.

Virgil is best known for its extraordinary collaborations with companies like Nike, Ikea and more




The late Virgil Abloh was born in September 1980 in the state of Illinois in the USA, to a family of immigrants of West African descent.

Virgil attended a Catholic high school and only then went on to study civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin and had a master's degree in architecture at Illinois.

According to Virgil, what ignited his interest in design is one of the buildings on campus in the graduate school, designed by architect Ram Koolhaas.

While still studying architecture, Virgil designed shirts and wrote articles on fashion and design for a blog known as The Brilliance.

As an architect and civil engineer by education, Virgil began working at Fendi in 2009 as an intern.

Not many know that the person who started working alongside him at that time in the company, is none other than the well-known rapper Kanye West.

The two together began a tremendous collaboration that launched Virgil’s career and led him to found Off White.

Abloh is considered a pioneer in his field, with designs that combine streetwear with luxury clothing, which were described by the Times magazine in New York as 'revolutionary'.







After graduation, Abloh continues to specialize in Fendi along with Ye, in Rome, Italy.

While working with the rapper and designer, Virgil contacted Louis Vuitton CEO Michael Burke.

A year later, appoints Abloh as his creative director of his fashion brand, Donda and in 2011, West asked him to serve as the artistic director of the Watch The Throne album launched that year by Jay Z and Himself.

In 2012, Abloh launched his first company, Pyrex Vision, in order to represent the importance of youth culture, by concentrating the designs around a garment that most teens will notice.

A year later he closed the company because he did not intend to create a commercial venture, but an art experiment.


Establishment of Off White and its meteoric rise

In 2013, Virgil founded the luxury clothing brand, Off White, based in Milan Italy, with the aim of being 'the gray area between black and white as an off-white color.' And presented it with references to the artist Caravaggio.

The launch of the brand has attracted widespread worldwide attention, starting in Paris and then expanding to China, Tokyo, Japan and the United States.

The line of clothing can be identified by using quotation marks, zippers, capital letters and a barbed wire tape.



After his meteoric rise, Virgil became one of the hottest names in the design worlds, and contrary to popular belief, turned to unusual collaborations, which would continue to position him as an influential and formidable figure in fashion and design.

In 2017, Virgil teamed up with Nike for the first of many collaborations, with a new collection called “The Ten”, which included a redesign of a range of the company’s top and best-selling shoe models, traded to date in the Resell market, at astronomical prices.

From there Virgil continues to collaborate with Swedish furniture company IKEA for home design, with a collection called “Markread” which means in Swedish, “clear”, in 2019. But many use quotes to convey disconnection from society and social norms.


virgil nike


In 2017, Virgil goes on to prove that there is nothing cool he does not know how to do and enlists to direct the clip of rapper Lil Uzi Vert's hit - Xo Tour Lif3, in collaboration with artists like De Weekend and rapper Nab.


The clip was shot in France in the 10th arrondissement of Paris and is considered very controversial, after it was revealed that the Arabic subtitles included in the clip are for aesthetic purposes only and are not a real translation of words.


Virgil in response replied that he liked the 'wrong' look in the subtitles. The clip has garnered over half a million views to date worldwide.

On March 25, 2018, Abloh was appointed artistic director of Louis Vuitton's men's clothing line, making him the first person of African descent to lead the brand's menswear line, as well as one of the lone black designers at fashion giant Louis Vuitton.




Abloh lived in Chicago with his wife and two children.

In 2019, he was diagnosed with cancer, but kept the diagnosis private and did not know many people about it.

On November 28, 2021, at the age of 41, Virgil Abelow passed away in Chicago from the disease.

After his death, Louis Vuitton held a ceremony and paid tribute to Virgil at the planned fashion show on November 30 in Miami, with the theme of "Virgil was here."

Participants included Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Asap Rocky, Bella Hadid, Rihanna, Farrell and more.

The company also dedicated all of its window displays around the world, displaying the caption "Virgil was here."

Virgil's funeral took place on December 6, 2021 in Chicago, in the presence of well-known artists such as Drake, Kidd Cady, Tyler the Creator, Frank Ocean, Lauren Hill, his family and other close friends.

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