The world sadly lost another visionary in Virgil Abloh on Nov. 28.
After a two-year battle with cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare form of heart cancer, the fashion icon tragically passed away in his hometown of Chicago. The news was very shocking due to his secrecy of the disease, wanting to continue to innovate his fans in the fashion world without any setbacks.
Although Abloh passed at a very young age at 41, Virgil was still able to innovate and define an entire generation in the fashion and hip hop industry.
Virgil began his path to stardom alongside hip-hop artist Kanye West, beginning their collaboration with a Fendi internship in 2009. West would continue to play a big influence in Abloh’s life, like an older brother to the young fashion entrepreneur. This duo would continue to collaborate frequently, Abloh taking on the creative director role for West’s album, Watch the Throne. Although their lines of work took them through different pathways in their careers, Kanye and Virgil maintained an unbreakable bond.
Through his work with West, Abloh was able to grow as a designer and would eventually launch his own line of clothing: Pyrex Vision. Taking Ralph Lauren and Champion pieces, Virgil would add his own twist with over-the-top Pyrex Vision logos and prints. As Vision’s popularity grew in mainstream media, Virgil eventually dropped the project as he intended it to be a small experiment. Vision would give the fashion industry a first look at the splash Abloh was about to make in the streetwear industry.
This splash quickly happened a year later, as Virgil released his brand, OFF WHITE, setting the fashion world on fire. OFF WHITE took from Virgil’s last project focusing on the streetwear industry and quickly revolutionized it. From graphic tees to luxurious suits and dresses, OFF WHITE offers a fresh alternative to fashion.
But, Abloh strived for more in the creative sphere. Abloh brought his OFF WHITE taste to 10 classic Nike sneakers in collaboration in 2017, arguably some of the greatest sneakers of all time. This collaboration propelled Nike to new heights, as during those times Adidas began their takeover in the sneaker industry with West’s line, Yeezy. Abloh would continue to collaborate with Nike, bringing his style to various Nike silhouettes.
Before his untimely passing, Virgil was on top of the fashion industry. Alongside OFF WHITE, Virgil was enlisted as Louis Vuitton’s artistic director in 2018, breaking major barriers in a ruthless industry. Leading Louis Vuitton in a new era, Abloh would still maintain the luxurious ambiance of the brand while also adding his trademark style.
Although he passed at a very young age, Virgil has left behind an unfathomable legacy in our modern culture.