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Virgil Abloh, the one who opened the field of all possibilities


Disappeared at the age of 41 following cancer, the American designer, founder of Off-White and artistic director of Louis Vuitton's men's collections, will remain the symbol of fashion inclusivity and a culture of luxury. cool.

He was not just a designer.

But how to qualify this bubbling creator, idol of millennials, genius of streetwear, king of cool, who stirred the zeitgeist in all its artistic directions with a field of applications and implications at 360 degrees?

A slasher, of course, combining functions and collaborations in fields as varied as fashion, music, furniture design and contemporary art, but also one of the first black designers to have been propelled to the head of 'a French luxury house. In 2018, the American succeeded the Briton Kim Jones as artistic director of the men's collections. His disappearance on November 29, at the age of 41, following a cancer he had been fighting for two years, caused an immediate wave of sadness in the house, but also an unprecedented shock within his community ( 6.9 million on Instagram) and fans of his work. Because no one could have expected the disappearance of this giant of 1.90 m, the build of an NBA player, among the most influential fashion designers of his generation,which was barely a month ago in Doha, Qatar. This distinguished globetrotter, bulimic of work, came to support emerging creators from North Africa and the Middle East, during the third edition of, for which he was a member of the jury. He also made the trip to inaugurate his exhibition in this new art capital.

Figures of Speech,

which offers a glimpse of his creative work spanning two decades.

The collaborations that propelled Virgil Abloh to the forefront

The collaborations that have marked the career of Virgil Abloh

In 2011, the metal cover designed for Kanye West and Jay-Z's

Watch the Throne album

won the Grammy for best record cover.

Kanye West / Jay-Z

The collaborations that have marked the career of Virgil Abloh

In 2012, he launched his brand Pyrex Vision.

There are plaid shirts from old Ralph Lauren stocks, stamped with the Pyrex logo and the number 23, in reference to Michael Jordan, his favorite basketball player.

Pyrex Vision

The collaborations that have marked the career of Virgil Abloh

Released in 2013 under the Off-White label, this white hoodie with graphic lines sets the brand's codes: a combination of streetwear and luxury ready-to-wear.


The collaborations that have marked the career of Virgil Abloh

Released in 2017, the Off-White x Air Jordan 1 collaboration is still blazing the basketball market.

Nike X Off-White

The collaborations that have marked the career of Virgil Abloh

The collaborations that have marked the career of Virgil Abloh

The collaborations that have marked the career of Virgil Abloh

The collaborations that have marked the career of Virgil Abloh

The collaborations that have marked the career of Virgil Abloh

See the slideshow

9 photos

A real attitude

At the start of his career was ... a t-shirt.

In the early 2000s, his creations caught the attention of the rapper's team, who invited him to join his inner circle.

Virgil Abloh, born in 1980 in Rockford, Illinois, to parents of Ghanaian origin, already has a unique background.

A graduate in civil engineering and architecture, he opened a boutique in Chicago, RSVP Gallery, in 2009. Also a DJ, he created at the same time the collective Been Trill, with the creators Heron Preston and Matthew Williams (today at Givenchy ).

But it was in 2012, with his fashion brand called Pyrex Vision, which later became a label nourished by street and pop references, that he began to stand out in the fashion world.

Kendall Jenner, Gigi and Bella Hadid, fans of her creations (like Rihanna, ASAP Rocky, Naomi Campbell or Kaia Gerber), walked her podium on multiple occasions, and her parades in Paris provoked, from 2015, riots among the young generation, which praises its sweatshirts, sneakers, graphic logos and stylish creations, which offer, beyond clothing, a real attitude.

Cool and stylish loose suits

In 2018, he also paid tribute to Princess Lady Diana, with an ultra-sophisticated Off-White collection, showing that he could go well beyond the New York skateboard look. Ultraconnected, very committed to the affirmation of African-American cultures, and leading multiple collaborations in all fields (Nike, Jimmy Choo, Moncler, Ikea, Evian, Vitra, Rimowa, Baccarat, Mercedes-Benz ...), this stakhanoviste becomes the most trendy designer of his generation. And attracts the eye of the Louis Vuitton house, which sees in him a key figure in the incarnation of American cool, endowed with a solid creative base and an undeniable sense of the zeitgeist.

2018: Virgil Abloh therefore lands one of the most envied positions in the fashion and luxury sector, that of artistic director of Louis Vuitton's men's collections.

Her first spring-summer 2019 show, in the rainbow-colored gardens of the Palais-Royal in Paris, was an uppercut with her black models with rapper-like physique, dressed in loose, cool and elegant suits, whose allure without flourishes is unanimously applauded by the guests (including Kanye West, deeply moved by the success of his former creative right-hand man).

In video, Louis Vuitton's spring-summer 2021 men's collection

Young love

Nothing seems to stop the Chicago child, married since 2009 to Shannon, his childhood sweetheart met on the school benches and with whom he will have a girl and a boy, Lowe and Gray, very well preserved from his notoriety. In 2019, he even saw an exhibition dedicated to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. “I'm hyperactive, always on the move, doing multiple things at the same time. I have a visceral urge to create, it's in my nature. Ideas are constantly flowing. I am convinced that everyone can change the world if they work hard, ”he told us in 2018.

His latest men's collections for Louis Vuitton had become more and more poetic and engaged.

Unveiled in the form of clips, due to the health crisis, they were part of the fight against racism and homophobia with high-end luxury and hip-hop mixes.

"My ultimate goal is to succeed in embodying my era", said the one who will remain in fashion memories as a symbol of the field of all possibilities.

The editorial team advises you

  • Nine creations by Virgil Abloh that have marked fashion and beyond

  • Louis Vuitton artistic director and fashion genius Virgil Abloh dead at 41

  • In pictures, the funeral of Virgil Abloh and the poignant tribute of Kim Kardashian, Drake and Rihanna

Source: lefigaro

All life articles on 2021-12-14

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