WHO WAS VIRGIL ABLOH?
Virgil Abloh was born on September 30, 1980, in the United States of America to Ghanaian immigrant parents and is known to many as the founder and CEO of Off-White and Men’s Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton.
As a child, he picked up an interest in sewing and learnt how to sew from his mother who was a seamstress. He attended Boylan Catholic High School, had a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering and received his Master of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in 2006. He got married to Shannon Sundberg in 2009 and they were blessed with two children.
As an entrepreneur, he launched his first company, Pyrex Vision, in 2012 which he closed down after a year as he did not intend it to be a commercial enterprise, but an artistic experiment. However, in 2013, he founded his first fashion house and a second business called Off-White. The clothing line can be identified through its use of quotation marks, zip-ties, capital letters, and barricade tape. The brand gained a lot of attention in Paris, China, Tokyo, Japan, and the United States. He designed for many celebrities such as Rihanna, Hailey Bieber, Serena Williams, to mention a few. He once partnered with Nike to redesign a variety of the company’s best selling shoes.
Abloh was named artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear ready wear line, on March 25, 2018, making him the first person of African descent to lead the brand’s menswear line. He was not just creative but was also very talented and was successful as a DJ, architect, and artist.
He faced so much criticisms during his lifetime, the most recent was in mid-2020 during the George Floyd protest because of the comments he made on his online platforms. He also received so many awards during his lifetime and was nominated once for a Grammy award. In 2018, he was listed as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.
In 2019, Abloh was diagnosed with cardiac angiosarcoma and eventually died at the age of 41 on November 28, 2021.