“We are all shocked by this terrible news. Virgil is not only a genius designer, a visionary, he is also a beautiful soul with great creativity,” said Bernard Arnault, president and CEO. of LVMH, said in the statement. He added: “The LVMH family is with me at this very sad moment. We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, an intensely devoted father, husband, son, brother and friend.”
Virgil Abloh a genius designer with a beautiful soul
“For more than two years, Virgil has bravely battled a rare form of cancer, an angioma of the heart. Virgil Abloh has chosen to endure her battle privately since her diagnosis in 2019, undergoing challenging treatments, while still running a number of important organizations including fashion , art and culture.
“Above all, with a work ethic, boundless curiosity and optimism, Virgil is driven by a dedication to craft, his mission is to open doors to others and creating avenues for greater equality in art and design. Virgil Abloh often says, “Everything I do is for a 17-year-old version of myself, believing deeply in the power of art to inspire future generations.”
Abloh’s sudden departure comes two days before the designer is set to present a show in Miami showcasing his spring 2022 menswear collection alongside 10 new styles created for the occasion. Abloh posted a trailer for the show to her Instagram account just four days ago with the comment: “Miami, I have an idea…” Louis Vuitton has yet to announce whether the event will take place. . The show coincided with the official opening in the Miami Design District – Louis Vuitton’s first freelance store for Abloh’s menswear collection.
Davide De Giglio, president and chief executive officer of New Guards Group, Off-White’s parent company, and Andrea Grilli, Off-White’s chief executive officer, said in a joint statement: “Virgil is a genius,” said Davide De Giglio, president and chief executive officer of New Guards Group, Off-White’s parent company. , a visionary but above all he is family. There are no words that can describe the loss his passing has left in our lives. His legend, his love and his spirit will be with us forever. Thank you for changing our lives, Virgil. Rest in power, brother. ”
The Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode and the Council of Fashion Designers of America also mourned his passing. “Virgil Abloh is a visionary fashion designer. Driven by great creativity, he innovated fashion rules, founded a hugely successful company and brought all of his talent and keen innovation sense to Louis Vuitton. But above all, he is a special man thanks to his humanity, openness to others, tolerance and willingness to break down barriers,” said FHCM president Ralph Toledano in a statement. declare. “CFDA mourns the loss of our respected member of the CFDA board and longtime designer, Virgil Abloh.Virgil changed the American fashion landscape with his groundbreaking Off-White label and broke barriers as Louis Vuitton’s first Black art director. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time,” said CFDA President Tom Ford.
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Virgil Abloh. It was a shock to the entire fashion world,” said François-Henri Pinault, President and CEO of Kering. “Virgil Abloh has brought to the eyes of a new generation in many creative fields. He has contributed to making fashion more open and inclusive. My thoughts are with his family, loved ones and everyone who collaborated with him,” Pinault added.
Alessandro Michele of Gucci said: “I am deeply moved by the news of Virgil Abloh’s passing. When I first met Virgil Abloh, I was struck by his gentleness, kindness and simplicity, which is a quality that is hard to find in our world.”
Alexandre Arnault, son of Bernard Arnault and executive vice president, product and communications at Tiffany & Co., became close with Abloh when they collaborated on a series of suitcases during his tenure as is the CEO of Rimowa. “Virgil Abloh is the essence of modern creativity. It has always been a privilege to work with him on so many occasions and I am constantly amazed at the amount of ground-breaking ideas that come out of his brain,” Arnault wrote on Instagram. “Personally, he is a close friend, always giving me the most valuable advice, always right. Thank you for everything you have brought to the world of Virgil.”
Geoffroy van Raemdonck, CEO of Neiman Marcus Group, said: “I am heartbroken to learn of the passing of Virgil Abloh. He is a visionary and creative genius whose cultural understanding extends beyond street fashion; The fashion industry will be deeply affected by his passing. Virgil’s contribution and commitment to the fashion industry is unmatched, and his intellect and creativity will be greatly missed. On behalf of NMG, we extend our deepest condolences to his loved ones as well as the LVMH and Off-White families. ”
Darcy Penick, president of Bergdorf Goodman, said: “I share the common pain of our industry at the passing of Virgil Abloh. He is a real force, bringing incredible passion, creativity and compassion to fashion and culture at large, changing both for the better. His loss will be felt deeply and our hearts go out to his loved ones.”
Abloh joined Louis Vuitton in March 2018, and his first show in June of that year marked a new chapter in fashion: the moment when streetwear landed in the sacred halls of the fashion houses. luxury brand and the first time a black designer took the helm of a major luxury fashion label. In September 2019, the designer said he would be taking a break from work as ordered by his doctor. He never articulated the nature of his illness, but a few months later Abloh is busier than ever, maintaining a steady pace of design collaborations with brands including Nike and Mercedes-Benz. , Vitra, Braunand Evian, among other brands. Earlier this year, LVMH marked its trust in Abloh by raising its stake in Off-White LLC, the owner of the Off-White brand, to 60% and giving the designer time to come out. Branding and stamping partnerships across the luxury group’s entire range of activities, beyond fashion.
Last year, Abloh raised $1 million for a scholarship fund for black fashion students, and is committed to keeping the doors open to diverse talent. “Today marks a day when I get to sit at the table so we can do more and not be limited by the past.” The first indication of his behind-the-scenes influence came in September, when LVMH revealed that it was appointing Nigo – Japanese streetwear pioneer and founder of A Bathing Ape – as director. Kenzo’s new art director. Abloh and Nigo previously collaborated on a very successful capsule production line for Vu.
Born in Rockford, Ill., to Ghanaian parents, Abloh is an artist, architect, engineer, creative director and designer. After earning a degree in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he completed a master’s degree in architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Best known as West’s creative director, Abloh launched his first label, Pyrex Vision, in 2012 with a line of screen-printed Rugby Ralph Lauren flannel shirts. He is also a member of the group Been Trill along with Heron Preston and Matthew Williams. Off-White was launched online in late 2013, holding its first showroom presentation in Paris the following January with designs that combine influences from Bauhaus to sportswear and Caravaggio.
It created the brand’s visual footprint:thick diagonal stripes have become a word for insiders. From the very beginning, Abloh made no secret of his ultimate ambition to become the creative director of a luxury brand. “I have a lot of ideas that give a modern relevance, but also a financial vision, for how these brands can be more successful in the luxury space,” Off-White is my resume and it’s also my lab to test these ideas to see which ones are valid.”“Off-White is my resume and it is also my lab to test these ideas to see which ones are valid.”“Off-White is my resume and it is also my lab to test these ideas to see which ones are valid.”
Abloh built the brand at breakneck speed, expanding into womenswear within 18 months of its launch. Off-White shortlisted for the 2015 LVMH Awards for Young Fashion Designers, crystallizing the birth of streetwear as a believable challenger to the luxury status quo and cementing the bond close relationship with the French group. Just four years after its launch, Abloh took the helm of the menswear division of Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury brand.
It is a destiny that Abloh pursues with sole purpose, ever since participating in Paris Fashion Week in 2009 with a group that includes West; Don Crawley, who co-founded the concept store RSVP Gallery with Abloh; designer and retailer Chris Julian, and musicians Taz Arnold and Fonzworth Bentley.Burke was the original proponent of bringing street fashion into the luxury realm, igniting Vuitton’s hugely successful 2017 collaboration with New York’s skate brand Supreme, which reportedly grossed 100 million euros. He met Abloh while the designer was interning at Fendi in 2006 with West, in an attempt to learn more about the luxury industry.
Abloh emerged alongside colleagues like Demna Gvasalia of Vetements, Shayne Oliver and Gosha Rubchinskiy – a group that disrupted and empowered fashion with their integration of web culture, art, fashion, and fashion. street pages and luxury brands. Abloh is well aware that some critics do not consider him a true fashion designer, as the designer himself mentioned this in the notes for his debut show at Louis Vuitton.”
I don’t call myself a designer, nor do I call myself an image creator. I’m not trying to put myself on a pedestal, nor am I trying to be more. I want to define the title of art director for a new and different age.” In 2017, he teamed up with Nike to re-release 10 iconic shoe styles,including the Air Jordan I and Blazer. “The Ten” was hailed as the biggest athletic shoe release of the year, and the partnership was later expanded to a line of bags for tennis player Serena Williams and a collaboration on sportswear. ready-to-wear women’s clothing.
Abloh has presented her work at key design institutions around the globe, including the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Conservation, and the Rhode Island School of Design. In 2019, he had a major exhibition of past and present work at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art entitled “Images of Speech” and recently attended the exhibition opening in New York. Doha, Qatar. He also entered the art field in 2018 with a collaboration with Japanese artist Takashi Murakami. Abloh has been awarded various awards, including WWD’s 2018 News Creator of the Year, the British Fashion Awards’ “Urban Luxe” award in 2017 and 2018, and International Designer of the Year at GQ Man of the Year Award in 2017.
When asked if he ever worries about doing too much, Abloh replies: “For me, the only thing I really do is be a creative person. I have an idea of everything, so, in a way, it’s just a matter of understanding and making suggestions for what might be in the future. Fashion is just one of many areas where design can be applied.”
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