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Virgil Abloh- A pioneering force

Aathirai Rajasekar | December 07, 2021

Who would have thought that an engineer turned architect would rule the world of garment construction! Virgil Abloh, the man who made athleisure the new haute couture, left the fashion world in dismay when he passed away on the 28th November.

His journey began when he was spotted by Micheal Burke, CEO of LV when he was interning at Fendi in 2009. After his stint at Fendi, he started RSVP Gallery alongside Don C. A year later, he became the creative director of Donda, Kanye West’s creative agency. His dear friend, West asked Abloh to be the artistic director of his album “Watch the throne”, which was later nominated for a Grammy for the design. In 2012, he launched his own company, Pyrex vision, where he procured deadstock from Ralph Lauren. He purchased the fabric for $40, screen printed them and sold it for $550. However, he shut it down as it began to become a commercial enterprise while he just wanted it to be an artistic experiment.

In spite of all his achievements, Abloh was primarily known for his high-end streetwear brand Off-white. It was only a matter of time when he became the artistic director of LV’s menswear line and the rest is history.

Passing of Abloh came as a shock to many as he was battling cancer privately. On the last night of November, Louis Vuitton paid a beautiful tribute to the man who redefined fashion while showing his SS ‘22 collection, one last time. Almost everybody from the industry close to Abloh was present, celebrating his life while mourning his loss.

In honour of the young, enthusiastic designer, here’s a round up of some of his iconic pieces:

  1. Hailey’s wedding dress- The dress that created buzz and stole millions of hearts. Hailey Bieber’s wedding dress designed by Abloh is my personal favourite. The flowy train, lengthy veil, off-shoulder and the beautiful lace detail is to die for!

  2. Off-white industrial belt- This strikingly long belt made its way through every fashionista’s wardrobe in the year 2019. It was worn over jackets, dresses and even around the neck. The number of rip offs made were innumerable. This was one of the first pieces to put Off-White on the map.

  3. Serena William’s dress- This beautiful athletic tutu dress was made for Serena Williams as a part of the Off-white x Nike collaboration. She wore this when she won the US open in 2018. Along with this another black dress was made for her and her name was screen printed on both the pieces.

  4. SS ‘19 tulle dress- The 2019 spring ready to wear collection showcased this snazzy white and neon tulle dress as its showstopper. It surely made some heads turn and jaws drop.

  5. Timothee’s Golden Globes ensemble- The very talented Timothee Chalamet attended Golden Globes ‘19 wearing a sparkly “bib”—a harness-like mid-layer garment, with B.D.S.M. undertones—of Abloh’s design.

Abloh opened up new horizons by collaborating with brands Nike, Ikea, Moncelr, Jimmy Choo, Moët & Chandon among others, proving him to be the versatile prodigy that he is.

Everyone who knew Abloh was fond of him and his ceaseless optimism. He had always kept his personal life under the wraps and gained respect/popularity only through this work. Last year he raised $1 million through “Post-Modern”, a scholarship fund for Black students to make the fashion industry a more inclusive place.

He truly changed the way people perceived fashion and there won’t be another like him!