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The Life and Times of Virgil Abloh

Happy Birthday to a fashion King

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Today would have been the 42nd birthday of the late, great, Virgil Abloh, and we’re celebrating his life with a reflection of his incredible legacy and achievements. A fashion designer and entrepreneur that was a true visionary, Abloh has left behind more than a lifetime's worth of historic and influential accomplishments that will forever be a part of fashion history.

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And in the end that’s what it’s all about right? Leaving something behind that is bigger than yourself. Something that can forever impact the future generations to come. Virgil left us with magic, and while his career was one for the ages, his success wasn’t an overnight one.

This is the life and times of Virgil Abloh.

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Early Beginnings

Upon graduating from the Illinois Institute of Technology with a masters degree in architecture (which also included a thesis design for a Chi-Town skyscraper), fate would eventually lead Abloh to a very famous rapper by the name of Kanye West, who also just so happens to be from Chicago.

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His meeting with Kanye (who now goes by Ye), led to him having an internship with Fendi in 2009, who at the time had a partnership with the rapper. And as they say, from there the rest was history.

Rise To Success

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From there, Abloh became the creative director of Ye's agency Donda, and began making waves in the fashion industry. It was also during this time that Abloh became the creative director for Ye and Jay Z's 2011 collaborative album Watch The Throne. By this point, Abloh was beginning to develop his own signature designs and imprint, while also putting the plan in motion to launch his own company. He famously developed the brand PYREX VISION in this era, which was more of a commentary on fashion than a traditional brand. Virgil essentially was screen printing logos on store-bought flannels and shorts, marking up the price more than 700%. No brand is more emblematic of the early 2010s proliferation of hypebeast culture and the logo-centric aspect of streetwear than PYREX.

Thus the birth of Off-White.

For many brands and fashion houses, it takes time (maybe even decades) to be recognized as the best in the world. For Virgil Abloh, it took just five years.

Continued Success

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Of course when you are recognized as being the best in the world, there’s no shortage of opportunities waiting at your door, which Abloh regularly capitalized on. If that wasn’t enough, Abloh was named creative director of Louis Vuitton in March 2018, adding to his young but loaded resume. Virgil’s work captured the attention of many celebrities including Rihanna, Serena Williams, and Kid Cudi. Collaborations included: Nike, Nigo, Air Jordan, Moncler, Jimmy Choo, and plenty (and we mean plenty) more. 

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It should also come as no surprise that the former engineer and architect loved art, which he frequently dabbled in, working with different museums such as the Brooklyn Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Abloh also worked with Japanese artist Takashi Murakami.

Oh, and he was also a DJ too. And a pretty darn good one.

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We can’t end this article without some of our favorite Virgil Abloh fashion pieces and moments.

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Long live Virgil Abloh. Rest in Power King. 

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