2021 have been a tough year, we have lost a few of the biggest names in the Fashion Industry, including, Alber Elbaz (the leader of Lanvin), Elsa Peretti (Italian Jewellery designer who also worked with Tiffany & Co since 1975), and in November, Virgil Abloh. And in this post, we will be looking back at some of the most iconic works from Virgil Abloh.
Virgil Abloh was a true revolutionary who led the fashion industry into untapped territories. In the wake of Abloh’s passing, we’re remembering some of his most significant contributions to the creative industry. The designer had been privately battling a rare and aggressive form of cancer until his very last day. Virgil continued to constantly bring innovation into the industry and his determination is an eye-opening example that should be admired and followed.
Abloh was the first Black American to be appointed a creative director at a European luxury house, Louis Vuitton, and the founder of Off White. He collaborated with IKEA, EVIAN Water, and even Mercedes Benz giving a twist to each of his partnered creations. Through his creative work, he expanded the realm of possibilities for designers and brands alike. Let’s take a look at Abloh’s impact on the fashion world:
Collaborations were truly the center of Abloh’s work. He positioned collabs as a “new cultural form” while proving that for brands to stay relevant, they need to collaborate. The designer loved mixing, re-mixing, and combining ideas throughout the whole creative world. Abloh worked with individuals like A$AP Rocky, Takashi Murakami, and Kanye West. Through his brand, Off-White, he partnered up with brands big and small, within the fashion and beyond. Nike, Sunglass Hut, Champion, Moncler, and Kith were among the brands with which he shared his creative input.
TAKASHI MURAKAMI & VIRGIL ABLOH "AMERICA TOO" Installation view, 2018 ©︎ Virgil Abloh and ©︎ Takashi Murakami Photo: Joshua White – JWPictures.com Courtesy Gagosian
Abloh played a big role in unifying the worlds of luxury and street fashion. Luxury fashion continuously looked for inspiration in streetwear and hip-hop subcultures. As the creative director of Louis Vuitton, the designer used his position to elevate said styles, which are now an important feature in modern fashion. During his first LV fashion show, artists Playboi Carti, Steve Lacy, and more were walking the runway.
Fashion in the Digital World:
Abloh’s forward-thinking allowed him to understand the value of creating a community through digital spaces. Via Off White, the designer created the digital experience “Imaginary TV”, where onlookers could virtually bounce between the brand's collection. Abloh didn't not only understand the value of digital space but also viewed it as an opportunity to encourage Black creators and voices onto the platform.
He was a revolutionary that never forgot his roots, by honoring culture, communities, creatives, and talents like no other before. Virgil Abloh taught everyone the importance of reaching across brands, across classes, across decades, and working together. The impact he made will still resonate with future generations of the fashion and creative world. Thank you, Virgil.