Designer, Visionary, Artist, and DJ: The Multifaceted Life of Virgil Abloh
Virgil’s birthplace is Rockford, Illinois, the son of Ghanaian immigrants. How old is Virgil Abloh when he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2002 and the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2006? He entered the fashion world with an internship at Fendi in 2009, where he met rapper Kanye West. Virgil Ablo began actively collaborating with Kanye on various creative projects, which eventually inspired Ablo to create his own clothing brand, Virgil Abloh Off-White. Time magazine included Abloh in its “Time 100,” a list of the one hundred most influential people in the world in 2018.
On Virgil Abloh’s birthday we find out his age. But who is Virgil Abloh today? How did Off-White start? And a lot of other questions. We can find that out on a Virgil Abloh birthday below. Are you ready to know his story?
The Early Years
So, who is Virgil? Virgil Ablo was born Sept. 30, 1980. He grew up in Rockford, Illinois, in an immigrant family – Virgil Abloh parents had moved to the States from Ghana before he was born. His mother was a seamstress. Regarding his education, Ablo attended a private Catholic school, graduating in 1998. The university where Virgil Abloh graduated in civil engineering was Virgil Abloh university of Wisconsin at Madison in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree. Since childhood, he tried to be responsible & practical, so he chose a profession accordingly. Though, he says he never imagined he’d be doing anything creative until a certain point.
Anyway, Abloh came to art a couple of years later, when he went on to study architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Then, he graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2006 with a master’s degree in architecture and got his background. At the same time, Rem Koolhaas was completing a building on the school’s main campus. It was very inspired by the Virgil project. It sparked his interest and opened doors to the world of fashion. But in earnest, Abloh’s creativity was unleashed when he took an art history course then pursued his professional timeline.
Career and the Path to Fame
After graduating from university, Abloh joined the fashion house Fendi as an intern in 2009, getting on the same team as rapper Kanye West. While at the Fendi office in Rome, Italy, Abloh & Kanye began collaborating on creative projects.
The relationship with Kanye West in Virgil Abloh’s biography is somewhat more than a friendship. Virgil was Kanye West’s not only stylish, but also creative director for almost 15 years. Virgil and Kanye started working together when Abloh was 22, it was an example of true cultural synergy. Kanye helped with the development of Virgil Abloh brand Pyrex Vision, so Virgil in turn helped West become the king of merchandise (Abloh was responsible for the souvenir products on the Glow In The Dark tour). In 2010, Virgil became an art director at Donda, Kanye’s creative agency, where he designed concerts and albums. Kanye’s record Watch the Throne, which Abloh worked on, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap Album.
Founder of the Phenomenon of the Expensive Merch
In 2012 the designer opened his first brand, a small streetwear boutique, Virgil Abloh Pyrex vision. The production process was based on upcycling: Virgil bought up old Rugby Ralph Lauren T-shirts for $40, printed on them Virgil Abloh designs (the word Pyrex as the number 23, the team number of his idol Michael Jordan), and sold them for $550. There were buyers even then. Pyrex clothing Vision lasted a year, and in 2013 it was replaced by Off-White.
Off-White Owner & His Success
Abloh founded his first fashion house as the second business overall in 2013. It became the high-end streetwear Off-White meaning brand. To investors and critics, Off-White creator described his new company as a “gray area between white and black,” or as “shades of white” – Off-White. The head office is located in Milan, Italy. The brand launched a line of fashionable women’s clothing in 2014, presenting it at Paris Fashion Week. Its collections were finalists for the LVMH award, but lost out at the Marques’Almeida & Jacquemus competitions. Abloh opened his brand’s first concept store in Tokyo, Japan, which was the first to feature interior pieces. In 2017, Abloh received proposals to create a shoe collection with Nike called “The Ten,” where he revisited the designs of some of the company’s best-known Off-White sneakers, Virgil. Abloh has also worked with furniture company IKEA to create furniture & furnishings. According to a press release, the pieces are aimed primarily at “millennials” who are furnishing their first home.
Virgil often uses quotation marks “[ ]” in his drawings to ironically convey his alienation from society or social norms.
He has collaborated with countless renowned designers, artists such as Vanessa Beecroft and Takashi Murakami.
In 2017, amidst a definite rise of neo-nationalism, Virgil Abloh contac to-conceptual artist Jenny Holzer in creating a line highlighting the positive aspects of immigration, cultural integration, and globalization. In December 2017, Virgil Abloh again worked with Jenny Holzer to design t-shirts for the charity Planned Parenthood in response to the Women’s March on Washington.
Work with Louis Vuitton
In Virgil Abloh bio on March 25, 2018, he was appointed artistic director of the Louis Vuitton menswear line, becoming the first black man in the position, also one of the few black men on the list of France’s top couturiers. During his induction, Abloh said: “I am honored to hold this position. I find the historical heritage and the creative integrity of the brand a source of inspiration for me and I keep them in mind, but also try to do contemporary things.” Virgil Abloh showed his first collection for the Louis Vuitton brand in 2018 at the Palais Royal Men’s Fashion Week in Paris. Playboi Carti, Lacey, Steve, Dev Hynes, and Kid Cady all participated in the show, representing different races.
Abloh is known to own a house in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. What do we know about the designer’s family? Virgil Abloh’s wife lives with him and also two children, Lowe and Gray.
The personal life of the fashion designer, who believes that a strong family helps to cope with creative chaos, is characterized by enviable consistency. His future wife, Shannon, a man met at the time when he was in school. In 2009, the lovers got married, then soon babysat two children – daughter Lowe with son Gray.
About Hobbies: DJing, Painting, and Design
Reading about this man’s hobbies, it seems that there is not a single free minute in his schedule, but again and again he presents new projects.
Virgil doesn’t just dabble in DJing – he has great taste in music, he’s a master at it. He is often invited to play at the coolest events. He tours under the pseudonym Flat White.
Moreover, Abloh is not nicknamed a collaboration genius by chance. He produced joint collections with dozens of legendary brands. Among them Nike, the perfume brand Byredo, Ikea & Levi’s. He also walked into one of the coffee shops and met the owner who designed the coffee cups. Now that’s a variety of interests.
Virgil says he can’t do it any other way, and that traditional relaxation has no place in his schedule. From show to exhibition, from exhibition to presentation, from presentation to meeting. The variety of spheres helps his brain to switch and succeed everywhere.
- In 2016 Virgil Abloh released his first Grey Area furniture collection (Milan, Italy).
- At the end of 2016 Virgil Abloh curated an exhibition with works (“free cubes”, “material table”, “trivia sign”) from his furniture collection for Design Miami at Art Basel (Miami, Florida).
- In 2017 Virgil Abloh worked with Ben Kelly on the touring project “SET,” which was exhibited at Open Eye Gallery (Liverpool, England) then at Somerset House (London, UK). Virgil Abloh also collaborated with Ben Kelly on a new installation called “Ruin,” which was presented at Store Studios (London, UK).
- Virgil Abloh at Lollapalooza performs in August in Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois, 2018.
- In 2019, Virgil Abloh presented a retrospective of his work, showing new works, along with unseen works from his past, at the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago, Illinois).
Virgil Abloh Nominations & Awards
- Abloh received his first major award in 2011 for his album design “Watch the Throne”, the cover of which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Music Record Design.
- In 2015 he is LVMH Prize finalist
- Abloh also received the 2017 Urban Luxe Award from the British Fashion Consilium, GQ Men of the Year in the International Designer of the Year category and became an Accessory Designer of the Year in the Footwear of the Year category.
- Virgil Abloh was included in Time 100, a list of the one hundred most influential people in the world in 2018.
On September 30, the designer is celebrating a milestone birthday in 2021, when he turns 41. So we wonder how he can celebrate it. He may not be able to travel and have fun like he used to before the pandemic, but he surely finds a way to celebrate bright, memorable events.