The history of Virgil Abloh

On the 28th of November 2021 Virgil Abloh passed away after a secret battle with cardiac angiosarcoma. He was well known for his work in fashion, working with Louis Vuitton and his own brand Off-White. He also was known for his artistic direction and musical endeavors throughout his career.


1980

Abloh was born just outside of Chicago on September 30th 1980 to his Ghanaian parents. He learns from his seamstress mother throughout his childhood, showing him the tricks of the trade from a young age.


He goes on to graduate high school in 1998.


2002

After studying civil engineering at University of Wisconsin Madison, he graduates and is forming his career path.

It is rumoured that he skipped his final critique for his studies to meet with Kanye West.


2006

Abloh completes a master’s degree in architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He said that the completion of the REM HAAS building “opened a gateway into fashion” inspiring him creatively.


2009

Abloh and West start interning at Fendi in Rome. Sparking the start of a long working relationship together.

An image of the two at a Fashion week event circulated and gains traction on the internet, causing speculation about what is coming next for the duo.

2010

Abloh becomes creative director at Donda, Kanye West’s creative agency.




2012

Pyrex vision, Abloh’s own clothing label, launches in New York. He uses dead stock Ralph Lauren pieces to reconstruct them into something new. He screen prints ‘Pyrex’ and the number 23 onto his first pieces as a homage to one of his heroes, Michael Jordan.


2013

Abloh closes down Pyrex vision to launch Off-White in Milan. He described the brand as ‘the gray area between black and white’.


2014

As Off-White grows, Abloh decides to add a womenswear range to his label. He goes on to present his mens and womenswear at Paris Fashion week.


2015

The name Off-White is becoming more popular, with celebrities styling pieces from the brand. Style icons such as Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj are seen representing the label and even featuring pieces in music videos.


2016

Alboh opens his first concept store in Tokyo. The opening being so popular that customers would take free plastic water cups and sell them online as collectibles.

Off-White launches its furniture line.


2017

A big year for Alboh, as he collaborates with names such as Murakami and debuts his first musical release. The biggest thing to happen for Abloh in 2017, was his deal with Nike. Abloh recreated 10 iconic Nike shoe styles and gave them his own unique Off-White style.





2018

Abloh becomes artistic director for Louis Vuitton men’s. This same year he performs his music in his hometown, at Lollapalooza festival.


2019

An exhibition showing Abloh’s range of work opens up in his hometown of Chicago. He also releases his collaboration with IKEA.



2021

After Abloh’s death, his final collection with Louis Vuitton called ‘Virgil was here’ was shown in Miami, with many paying tributes to the iconic designer.