On November 28th, LVMH announced the unfortunate news of Virgil Abloh’s passing after privately battling cancer over the last few years. The announcement came suddenlyand left celebrities, fashion industry professionals, creatives alike and kids who looked up to Abloh in shock. Abloh made history by serving as the Creative Director of Louis Vuitton’s Menswear — he was the first Black man to be in a position of its caliber for a luxury fashion house. While designing for Vuitton and running his own luxury brand, Off-White, Abloh changed the landscape of fashion and redefined what the industry perceived as luxury. His love for recreating practical clothing influenced the immense growth of streetwear and also led to the creation of the high-end market for t-shirts, sweatpants, hoodies, and workwear.
Abloh was a cultural force. He brought Black culture onto the runways and into spaces where it was once not allowed. His fashion timeline included being behind some of the most memorable fashion brands to date like Been Trill, Pyrex Vision, RSVP Gallery, Off-White and Louis Vuitton — each one stands as a moment in culture and fashion alone, and where they intersect. The talented fashion designer represented hope and possibility as he did not prescribe to limits, he was an innovator and a disruptor in the fashion space. Abloh didn’t limit himself to just designing clothes, he also pursued architecture, music, and creatively directed a number of album covers for the hottest musicians – he was the living embodiment of going after all of your dreams.
To be the first takes courage, because although the accomplishments come with praise, being the first also come with criticism, but Abloh stood firm in his position and pushed Black creatives forward during his career. Along the way, he impacted many creatives alike and gave some of today’s fashion greats their first chance. He brought others to the top with him and inspired the most stylish celebrities in the process — see all of Abloh’s tributes ahead.