Virgil Abloh: 5 Things You Should Know

Virgil Abloh rose to popularity as the founder of Off-White, but his abilities go much beyond that.

Virgil Abloh is one of the most well-known figures in contemporary fashion, having become the first African American to lead the fashion house, Louis Vuitton. Abloh’s mastery of design and creative drive extends beyond garments, despite his industrial style and exorbitant price tags. This article covers everything you need to know about this outstanding entrepreneur’s career, from Off-White to Ikea.

1. Virgil Abloh is number ten on the list. Initially, he was educated as an architect.

Virgil Abloh’s parents taught him to love life despite working hard as a child. They let him DJ at parties on the weekends, but they made sure he worked hard in school, which led to his acceptance to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to study civil engineering. Following his bachelor’s degree, Abloh pursued his master’s degree in architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He was particularly interested in Deconstructivism, a Post-Modern architectural style whose influence can be noticed in his clothes design.

2. He’s always been interested in fashion and clothing design.

Abloh began his exploration into the world of fashion by producing t-shirts and contributing to The Brilliance, a popular streetwear-oriented blog. He was inspired by a combination of his mother’s work, the design ideas he learned, and the street culture of Chicago. In some of his posts, he chastised high-end businesses like Gucci for their poor graphic design and materials. He returned to the blog to offer an interview on his ideas, projects, and perspectives on the industry as his career took off.

3. Some Very Important People Recognized Abloh’s Creativity Right Away

Abloh met rapper Kanye West while working at Custom Kings, a print company in Chicago, and he immediately recognized his inventiveness and design talent. West enlisted Abloh’s help with merchandise and graphics for his seminal album Graduation. West and Abloh were keen to blend rap, art, and fashion, so they interned at Fendi together to learn as much as they could about garment design. ‘When we were there, we did all the meetings,’ says Abloh. We were off the beaten path in Rome, arriving at 9 a.m. on a Monday. We took care of everything for the interns… After this period, we traveled to Hawaii.’

Abloh was inevitably introduced to some incredibly powerful people within the music and art industries as the creative director for one of hip hop’s greatest musicians. Jay-Z, who profited from his artistic management on his collaboration record with Kanye West, and Michael Burke, the then-CEO of Louis Vuitton, who observed Abloh’s skills at Fendi, were among them.

4. Virgil Abloh’s First Business Demonstrated That He Is A True Entrepreneur

In 2012, Abloh established Pyrex Vision, his first solo venture into the realm of fashion. The label’s aim was to appeal to youth culture by offering recognizable clothing with a fresh spin. This entailed purchasing deadstock flannel shirts from high-end fashion house Ralph Lauren, customizing them with Abloh’s designs, and selling them under his own label. Abloh bought the shirts for roughly $40 each and sold them for over $500.

 

Despite its enormous success, Abloh shuttered Pyrex Vision after only a year, calling it a “side project” and an aesthetic exercise. Pyrex Vision, despite being short-lived, served to establish Virgil Abloh’s name in the fashion business and showcased his abilities as a designer and entrepreneur.

5. He Achieved His Greatest Success With Off-White

Shortly after closing Pyrex Vision, Abloh started Off-White, a very successful fashion label with a following of 10.3 million people on Instagram alone. Off-White, which is based in Milan, Italy’s fashion capital, currently has 49 stores across the world, is carried by some of the world’s most prominent retailers, and generates hundreds of millions of dollars in annual earnings.

 

Many Off-apparel whites and accessories have the same signature graphics, such as quote marks, big capitals, barricade tape, and zip ties. Off-White streetwear’s industrial vibe may appear at odds with its exorbitant price tag, but it once again illustrates Abloh’s ability to carve out a unique niche in an overcrowded market.