Virgil Abloh

Virgil Abloh’s Legacy in Streetwear and Luxury Fashion

Dive into Virgil Abloh's groundbreaking journey from Off-White founder to Louis Vuitton's artistic director, and his enduring fashion legacy.


Aug. 20 2023, Published 2:50 p.m. ET

Virgil Abloh was a true fashion great. One of the most influential designers in the world, Abloh became world-renowned for his role as the artistic director of Louis Vuitton and pioneering streetwear and urban style.

His death in 2021 left a great void among fashion fans both locally and internationally. But his legacy remains alive thanks to the many collections inspired by his work and how he paved the way during his short, glorious career. Let’s take a quick dive to understand how he did it.

How Virgil Abloh Conquered Fashion

Virgil Abloh was an American designer, stylist, artistic director, and entrepreneur. He was born in Rockford in 1980 to a family of Ghanaian origins. He studied at the University of Wisconsin and obtained a degree in civil engineering, the context in which he met his friend and collaborator Kanye West.

An internship at Fendi alongside Kanye marked the beginning of a partnership that eventually gave birth to Off-White.

The American designer also took charge of the creative direction of several albums by Jay-Z and Kanye, including “Watch the Throne.” Thanks to this collaboration, in 2011, he got a nomination at the 2011 Grammy Awards for best packaging of a recording. From then on, music became central to Abloh’s artistic collaborations.

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He became the first man of American of African origin to be the artistic director of a French luxury fashion house. Then, Time Magazine named Abloh as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2018. In the same year, Abloh became the artistic director of the men’s collection at Louis Vuitton.

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Abloh was elected to the board of directors of the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2019, a group entrusted with advancing and safeguarding the US fashion industry.

Also, in a deft move in 2021, Virgil Abloh sold 60% of Off-White to LVMH, while holding on to a 40% stake to remain a co-owner.

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Quite a lot of worldwide achievements in this space of time, don’t you think?

His Legacy at Off-White

Everyone liked Virgil’s streetwear experiment. Like ripples, it began small and then spread across continents, gaining much international popularity. In 2015, Off-White was a finalist in the LVMH Young Designers Prize. In 2017 it won the Urban Luxe Award at the British Fashion Awards.

The brand and its founder have a huge following on Instagram – over 10 million followers for Off-White and 6.9 million for Abloh himself.

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The designer managed to capitalize on being a stylist, working with Kanye West and forging continuous collaborations and friendships, such as the one with Bella Hadid.

Then, again, in 2018, Virgil Abloh collaborated with one of the most famous artists of the last 20 years, Takashi Murakami.

Wrapping It Up

Virgil's influence in streetwear and luxury fashion is unmatched. Like a footprint in time, his innovative designs and commitment to inclusivity have left a lasting impact on the fashion industry. While he may no longer be with us, his impact will continue to shape the future of fashion for many generations to come.

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