Fashion 

A Look Back at Virgil Abloh's Boundary-Pushing Career

In fashion, footwear, art and more.

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2,213 Hypes

A Look Back at Virgil Abloh's Boundary-Pushing Career

In fashion, footwear, art and more.

After a two-year-long battle with cancer, Off-White™ founder and Louis Vuitton Men’s artistic director Virgil Abloh died at the age of 41. In honor of the late designer, we’re taking a look at the boundary-pushing work he had done in categories spanning fashion, footwear, art and design. From interning at Fendi to becoming the first Black designer to helm the house of LV, here are some of the most impactful moments in Virgil’s career that have changed the landscape of streetwear, luxury fashion and so much more.

FASHION

BEEN TRILL

Working with Matthew Williams, Heron Preston, Justin Saunders and YWP, Abloh created BEEN TRILL, an “art collective and DJ crew” that later grew into a streetwear label. The group gained a massive following on Tumblr while releasing merch including branded tees and snapback caps. Later on, the brand was sold to PacSun in 2015.

PYREX VISION

Abloh launched his first brand, PYREX VISION, in 2012. Under the New York-based label, he printed “PYREX” lettering on deadstock flannel shirts, hoodies, basketball shorts and more along with the number 23 representing Michael Jordan. Abloh shuttered the brand about a year after to start Off-White™.

Off-White™

With the launch of Off-White™ in 2013, Abloh changed the landscape of fashion, bridging the gap between streetwear and luxury fashion. The brand kicked off with menswear, followed by the womenswear category, which launched in 2014. The designer took over the 2010s with his signature hovering quotation marks, zip-ties, the Industrial Belt, the arrow logo and Binder Clips among other memorable motifs. Other notable designs that Abloh created under Off-White™ include the Jitney Bag, Flap Bag and most recently, the Burrow Bag.

Dubbed the “hottest brand” over numerous years, Off-White™ became a part of Farfetch in 2019 after it acquired the brand’s parent company, New Guards Group. In July 2021, LVMH announced that it would own a 60% stake in Off-White™, while Abloh would keep 40%.

Louis Vuitton

In 2018, Abloh replaced Kim Jones as men’s artistic director for Louis Vuitton, making history as the first Black designer to helm the French fashion house while proving streetwear’s influence on high fashion. This move led to record-breaking sales, selling out faster than the luxury house’s collaboration with Supreme.

Abloh’s debut Spring/Summer 2019 collection for the French label featured monochromatic looks and eccentric bags with warped detailing. He continued to roll out fast-selling items, including an all-orange capsule range, Keepall bags covered with flowers and bold wallets and cardholders, just to name a few. He also teamed up with NIGO to launch a co-branded range. The second installment of the LV² collaboration just dropped last month.

FOOTWEAR

Nike

Abloh launched a slew of sneaker collaborations with Nike and Jordan Brand. In 2017, the designer unveiled “The Ten” collection, which featured 10 iconic Swoosh silhouettes such as the Air Jordan 1, Air Force 1, Air Max 97 and Blazer Mid. Each of the shoes was highlighted with Off-White™’s signature zip-tie and double quotation branding. Earlier this year, the creative unveiled “The 50” collection entirely focused on Dunk Lows. The collaboration between Abloh and Nike marked a significant moment for the footwear industry and is celebrated in a retrospective TASCHEN book titled ICONS.

Converse

In 2018, Abloh teamed up with Converse for another highly coveted footwear collaboration. He applied his signature details to the Chuck Taylor, as well as the Chuck 70, which was included in “The Ten” collection. His designs recorded the highest resale value in 2019 with more than a 2,000% increase in prices.

Off-White™

In addition to his sneaker collaborations, Abloh introduced a number of footwear silhouettes under his label Off-White™. Notable designs include the skate-inspired Fluo, ODSY and Out of Office sneakers.

Louis Vuitton

Bringing his work in streetwear to high fashion, Abloh created new silhouettes like the LV Trainer. The shoe launched in both high and low-cut iterations, also appearing in the NIGO collaboration. The designer additionally made a Louis Vuitton x Nike partnership happen, applying the luxury house’s monogram pattern to kicks like the AF1.

ART and DESIGN

Album Covers

Apart from his famous home and designed-focused collaborations, Abloh was known for working on album covers for his friends like Kanye West, Lil Uzi Vert, Kid Cudi and more. Some of the biggest hip-hop records he created covers for include Ye’s Yeezus and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kid Cudi’s WZRD, A$AP Rocky‘s Long.Live.A$AP and Pop Smoke’s Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon.

IKEA

In 2018, Abloh brought his brand Off-White™ to the world of home and design through a collaboration with IKEA. Dubbed “MARKERAD,” the collection included rugs, tote bags, chairs and more highlighted with quotation marks.

AMOREPACIFIC

Pushing boundaries once again, Abloh launched a streetwear-beauty crossover by teaming up with K-beauty giant AMOREPACIFIC. Together, the duo applied the arrow logo to a cushion foundation, lip balm, sheet mask and protective face mask. The set came packaged in a limited-edition “PROTECTION BOX.”

Braun

After launching a minimalist wristwatch in 2016, Abloh reunited with Braun to design a collection of limited-edition alarm clocks. The home accessory arrived in bold orange and sky blue colors, with Off-White™’s revamped 2019 logo.

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