Portrait: Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton
There’s a premiere at Louis Vuitton at the men’s fashion week in Paris this June: artistic director Virgil Abloh will present his first collection.
From Off-White to Kanye West
All-rounder is definitely a good description of Abloh. Born in Rockford, Illinois in 1980, he graduated in civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin Madison before completing a master’s degree in architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology. There he studied modern principles of design and perfected multidisciplinary work.
In 2012 he founded his brand Off-White, which will also be shown at Paris Fashion Week (and is available in the Goldenes Quartier at Amicis Deuxieme). For years he has also been the creative director behind the musician, fashion designer and social media pro Kanye West. Abloh has already been showered with awards, and two of his latest achievements are winning the Urban Luxe Award at the British Fashion Awards and being named “Designer of the Year” at the GQ Men of the Year Awards.
Urbanity and luxury
Abloh first worked with Louis Vuitton CEO Michael Burke at Fendi in 2006. “His innate creativity and disruptive approach havemade him so relevant,not just in the world of fashion but in popular culture today.Hissensibility towards luxury and savoir faire will be instrumental in taking Louis Vuitton’s menswear into the future,” says Burke.
Abloh is looking forward to the new challenge: “I find the heritage and creative integrity of the house are key inspirations and will look to reference them both while drawing parallelsto modern times,” reveals the designer. As an African American, it is also important to him to show a younger generation that you don’t have to look a specific way to take on this kind of position, as he told the New York Times. It is “a fantastically modern spirit in which to start.”