Nine creations by Virgil Abloh that have marked fashion and beyond, The American stylist, who died of cancer at the age of 23, was a bulimic of work, not just writing fashion. A look back at the key pieces that have marked his career, from Off-White to Louis Vuitton.
Virgil Abloh was not just a fashion greats. Artistic director of the Louis Vuitton men’s collections and founder of the brand Off-White , the American was also a DJ, architect, engineer and designer of furniture. With many strings to his bow, he has marked his career with collaborations and diversions. A habit taken from the start. When he meets Kanye West at the age of years old, he joined the rapper’s close guard and became his artistic director for almost fourteen years.
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In 2011, his name comes out of the shadows thanks to the cover of the ‘Watch the Throne album he imagined for the Chicago rapper and Jay-Z . The object receives a Grammy. Bling at will, it was imagined as a jewel (and designed by the Italian designer Riccardo Tisci) to house the two-headed work of the two artists. Virgil Abloh then begins to build this bridge between streetwear culture and the world of luxury. Under his prism, objects and clothes take on a multiple identity navigating between art, philosophy, music and politics.
Collaborations “sold out” In 2011, it is launches into fashion with Pyrex Vision. The time is not yet for couture creation itself. Virgil Abloh buys old stocks of Ralp Lauren and Champion clothing on which he affixes his Pyrex logo accompanied by the number 22, in reference to Michael Jordan, his favorite basketball player. The success is such that he interrupts this project which he describes as an “artistic experiment” to give birth to Off-White, another fashion label that he wishes to be more successful and more sprawling. At the same time that he gives it the stature of a ready-to-wear line for men and women, Virgil Abloh decides to associate it with other names (not necessarily fashion) by multiplying collaborations with Moncler, Nike , Umbro, the Ssense e-shop, Evian, Levi’s Made & Crafted … All will be accompanied by the words ” sold out ”(out of print) and underlying messages where the points of irony are legion.
Ikea, in 2019, is no exception. When he teamed up with the Swedish brand, it was to transform everyday objects and furniture into unexpected pieces. And in the process, educate a young generation of consumers in the culture of design. In 2018, his appointment as artistic director of the Louis Vuitton men’s collections caused a stir. He became one of the first black designers to take the helm of a leading global luxury brand. He broadly deploys his vision, this famous junction between streetwear and luxury.