Virgil Abloh, the Emperor of Cool
by Modem – Posted December 02 2021
© Modem

Architect, civil engineer, DJ, Artist, Art Director Visionary and Mentor. Virgil Abloh, Rockford, September 30, 1980 - Chicago, November 28, 2021, the founder and designer of Off-White, who was named Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton's men's collections in 2018, was a true industry game changer within the Fashion, Art and Design World.

2009 - Virgil Abloh launched RSVP Gallery in Chicago, a concept store that featured Art and Design in 2009. Simultaneously, he began to be known as DJ and to be appreciated as Art Director in the hip hop and rap environment of Chicago. During that year Abloh and Kanye West did an internship at Fendi ​in Rome.

2010 - Abloh officially assumes the role of creative director of Donda, Kanye West's creative agency.

2011 - He achieved his first big professional success as Art Director for the cover of an album by Jay-Z and Kanye West, which earned him a nomination for the Grammy Award in the category “Best Cover”.

2012 - Still in Chicago, he founded the streetwear label Pyrex Vision and alongside other DJs, he participated in the creation of a collection of the streetwear brand Been Trill.

2013 - Virgil Abloh closed the label Pyrex Vision in Chicago and founded Off-White, a Milan-based brand.
The unstoppable evolution Off-White's success starts in Milan with a big success, especially amongst the younger generations. The brand is promoted and distributed initially by Showroom Marcona3, which understood the original aesthetic dimension of Abloh’s collections immediately.

Since the first season Marcona3 sells the collections of Off-White to some of the most prestigious international multi-brand boutiques. This step is crucial to position the brand amongst the big players of luxury fashion.

Virgil Abloh was able to transform his garments into communication tools that would support, express and share strong messages and values that resonated directly with the new generation of fashion enthusiasts embracing his demand for more inclusivity.

2014 - The first Off-White women’s collection was presented.

2015 - Virgil Abloh is a finalist for the Lvmh prize. Claudio Antonioli, Davide De Giglio and Marcelo Burlon founded the holding company New Guards Group. Marcelo Burlon County of Milan which was previously distributed by Marcona3 too, and Off-White are integrated into the New Guards Group.

Thanks to its appropriate financial means, NGG supported the expansion of these collections diffusion. This dynamic made Off-White quickly become one of the most requested brands, if not the most requested one, by the increasingly influential public of the new generation of consumers passionate about fashion.

Despite the overwhelming demand from this audience, NGG's criteria for selecting multi-brand stores and pricing maintained the position of Off-White as a luxury fashion brand. Initially, consumers had the privilege of having bought a prestigious exclusive garment.

However, due to the parameters adopted by NGG, “exclusiveness” was not considered anymore: production and distribution of the collections increased to ensure logical market interests. In this regard, controversy emerged for several seasons about the materials and about the quality of workmanship of Off-White garments.

Before the health crisis of 2020 there was still not enough collective awareness and responsibility about the issues of sustainable development.

2018 - Virgil Abloh is the Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton men's collections in 2018

Over the years, Virgil Abloh has built a network of collaborative relationships in the Art and Design World, including Jenny Holzer, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Takashi Murakami... He exhibited also in museums such as the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago, Atlanta High Museum of Art, in art galleries: Gagosian Gallery, Galerie Kreo...

Collaborations: Baccarat, Vitra, Ikea, Nike, Évian, Vlone, Levi’s, Guns N'Roses, Le Louvre ...

In the course of time, Virgil became a well-known and respected multidisciplinary artist who always remained humble and was willing to inspire talented young designers all over the World.

There are countless examples of Virgil Abloh playing a key role in youth culture and using his influence to positively impact the community. Recently, alongside Daily Paper, Virgil Abloh designed Ghana’s very first Skate Park in Accra that opened in July 2021.

© Modem