Virgil Abloh died of cancer at the age of 41 on Sunday 28 November. He founded and became CEO of Off-White in 2012 and has been creative director of Louis Vuitton menswear since 2018.
Abloh’s luxurious streetwear designs have allowed him to become one of today’s most influential designers. Having worked with famous models such as Hailey Bieber, Kendall Jenner, zendaya and Bella and Gigi Hadid, has shaped the way streetwear is presented to the public.
“Her impact on the fashion world wasn’t really about her projects, it was like building a bridge between art and fashion.”
– Logan Goodman ’24
“Her impact on the fashion world wasn’t really about her designs,” said Logan Goodman ’24. “It was a bit like building a bridge between art and fashion”.
Goodman got acquainted with Abloh through Off-White. As someone who is often seen in streetwear, she believes it influenced her perspective on what fashion really is: a form of self-expression. Inspired by Abloh, she incorporates pops of color into her wardrobe to introduce aspects of her artistic side.
Similar to Goodman, Abby Kalman ’22 attributes her interest in streetwear to Abloh and saw him as a “motivator” for her personal designs and creations.
“He was so pioneering in that area of the industry,” Kalman said. “[his death] in a way I felt like I had lost a model. “
According to New York Times, Abloh created clothes that would use contemporary ironic ideals to reflect “art, music, politics and philosophy” that make up his own identity. Shannon Abloh, Abloh’s wife, wrote in an Instagram post that she put herself in the same mindset she had at 17 to inspire younger generations to use art to express themselves.
“Virgil was guided by his dedication to his craft, his mission to open doors to others and create pathways to greater equality in art and design,” wrote Shannon Abloh.
Abloh changed the fashion industry by creating an opening for equality and representation. Although he is no longer with us, his legacy remains and is carried on by loved ones and those he has inspired.
“His legacy [was to]to inspire young people to feel empowered to continue creating and to cross the boundaries of society within art and fashion, “said Kalman.” And in a way you will make yourself satisfied as a person with the work you are creating.“