Death of the Visionary Designer: Virgil Abloh's Most Iconic Fashion Moments My 20 Minutes

Death of the Visionary Designer: Virgil Abloh's Most Iconic Fashion Moments My 20 Minutes

Death of the Visionary Designer: Virgil Abloh's Most Iconic Fashion Moments My 20 Minutes


Fashion designer Virgil Abloh died on Sunday after battling cancer. We look back at the most important moments in his career.

Johanna Senn

The news was unexpected: fashion designer Virgil Abloh died of cancer on Sunday at the age of 41. "For over two years, Virgil has been battling a rare, particularly aggressive form of cancer," said a post on Virgil Abloh's Instagram profile, which broke the news. He has wanted to fight this fight privately since the diagnosis in 2019, it says in the post.

Abloh made fashion history as Louis Vuitton's first black art director. His streetwear label Off-White, which he founded in 2012, was also a resounding success. We look back at its main achievements.

An album cover for Kanye and a plane for Drake

Abloh's designs not only played with the world of streetwear, but also with hip hop and music. Abloh has always been friends with rapper Kanye West. The two were also joint interns at Fendi in 2009. The following year, Abloh became the creative director of Kanye West's creative agency "Donda" and went public with his first major project: he was the art director for Kanye West's and Jay Z's album Watch The Throne. This project catapulted him into the limelight.

Last year, Abloh made headlines for designing musician Drake's private plane: a Boeing 767-200. So while most of the world sat at home, Virgil Abloh redesigned an airplane. The result not only demonstrated Abloh's good eye for design, but also showed what else he was made of. Abloh also had a degree in civil engineering and showed his skills in all areas:

Abloh has always been a collaborator with the hip-hop world and also drew attention with a dress for rapper Kid Cudi. Abloh was inspired by Kurt Cobain and thus also took a stand against toxic masculinity.

Virgil Abloh founds Off-White

In 2012, Virgil Abloh founded the streetwear label Off-White, which was initially called Pyrex Vision. Over the next few years, Off-White became a global success and focused on streetwear, which had previously been neglected by the fashion scene. With a wink and irony, Abloh catapulted the label into the hearts of all fashion fans. Over the years, the label has collaborated with various other brands such as Converse, Dr. Martens and Champion.

The collaboration with Nike, called «The 10», was particularly successful. The collection included various sneakers from Nike to Air Jordan to Converse. Abloh deconstructed the shoes and reassembled them. In his career, Abloh designed more than 50 Nike shoes, which he also recorded in a book.

On Off-White he also showed that he had a mastery of incorporating unconventional pieces into his work like no other. The yellow off-white belt, reminiscent of a police tape, is still worn by fashion fans years later:

Abloh's first collection for Louis Vuitton

Virgil Abloh wrote fashion history at Louis Vuitton as the first black creative director. All eyes were on him for his first Louis Vuitton collection in 2018:

Abloh's first show for the French fashion house took place in front of the Palais Royal in Paris. The event was well attended by Abloh's friends and colleagues - including Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and Kid Cudi. Kanye West and Virgil Abloh's hug at the end of the show went viral:

Legendary collaboration with Ikea

Virgil Abloh's designs and pieces have never been cheap. At the end of 2019, however, ordinary people also had the opportunity to bring a piece by the designer into their homes. Markerad was the name of the collection that Abloh brought out with the Swedish furniture store Ikea. Among them were pieces like carpets that said "Wet Grass" - one carpet in the look of an Ikea receipt in particular stood out.

The collection was one of the most sought-after collaborations of 2019. And in true Abloh fashion, access to the collection wasn't easy: anyone who wanted to snag a piece got access to the collection with tickets and were allowed up to shop five pieces. The fans stood in line in front of selected Ikea branches overnight.

Hailey Bieber's wedding dress

It was one of fashion's best kept secrets. Almost like a royal family wedding, Hailey Bieber's wedding dress was kept under wraps. Hailey Bieber finally shared a photo of the dress on Instagram: a white lace dream with the words "Til Death Do Us Part" on the train. A classic Abloh piece with a special elegance.

Hailey Bieber was among Abloh's friends and muses along with Bella and Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss and Naomi Campbell. They all also shared their personal obituaries for the late designer on Instagram.

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