Force of Fasion, Virgil Abloh, dies at 41

Force of Fasion, Virgil Abloh, dies at 41

By Emily Sawyer, Staff Writer

Virgil Abloh, an American fashion designer and style visionary, has died on Sunday, November 28, 2021. He was only 41.

Creator of luxury designer brand Off-White and creative director of Louis Vuitton Men’s in 2018, Virgil Abloh took the fashion industry by storm with his unconventional approaches and ideas. At the British Fashion Awards in 2017, Abloh received the Urban Luxe award. He has also won international designer of the Year with GQ, and his spin-off on Air Jordan 1’s achieved him Shoe of the Year in 2017.

The designer and entrepreneur’s goal and reputation as a path-blazer began at a young age growing up in Chicago with a his mother being a seamstress. Ironically, he wasn’t always on the fashion path. Abloh completed his undergraduate degree in civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and continued on to complete his master’s in architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology. It wasn’t until the building of the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion by Rem Koolhaas in 2006 that Abloh says truly “piqued my interest and opened my gateway into fashion.”

He jumpstarted his career at an internship with Fenti in Rome alongside Kanye West; West and Abloh began working closely and were said to bring “a whole new vibe to the studio and [be] disruptive in the best way.” The two have been close friends since, and had planned for West to takeover Abloh’s role as creative director for Louis Vuitton prior to Abloh’s passing.

Abloh was known as a charismatic individual, inspiring many young individuals. His work has been worn by countless prominent celebrities alongside West, including Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadd, Rihanna, Beyonce, ASAP Rocky and more. Singer Pharrell Williams called Abloh a “kind, generous, thoughtful creative genius” and a person whose “work as a human and work as a spiritual being will live forever.” Others could sum up Abloh’s presence in fewer yet impactful words: Soulja Boy and Kriss Jenner both tweeted about the tragedy, calling Abloh a “legend” and “angel,” respectively.

“His work really changed the game in the fashion industry, and as someone interested in fashion myself, he will be missed,” says Junior Kyle Cho.

Abloh’s work will continue to live on, and he will be remembered by many.