fashion

In Fashion: Virgil Abloh’s Meteoric Rise & Debut for Louis Vuitton in Paris 21.06.18

by

In Fashion: Virgil Abloh’s Meteoric Rise & Debut for Louis Vuitton in Paris 21.06.18

IN 2009 VIRGIL ABLOH was an intern at Fendi with Kanye West. Before that, he was a DJ at a wine bar the midwest. Yesterday, the 38-year-old father of two made history with his debut menswear collection in Paris as the first African-American in the role of creative head at Louis Vuitton, prompting InStyle to dub him "the Meghan Markle of Fashion". The Ghanaian-American engineer/architect/DJ/designer/Ikea collaborator (who prefers not to be labelled) has been the artistic director of the French fashion house's men's wear collection since March 2018.

Abloh went to Boylan Catholic High School and was an undergrad at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he earned a degree in civil engineering, and later received his master of architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Abloh founded Off-White, an Italian streetwear and luxury fashion label in Milan in 2012. The designer's qualifications as a fashion designer are often questioned—he didn’t go to fashion school and is often accused of appropriating others’ work—and yet, here he is.

In an interview with Paper, Abloh describes the moment he transitioned from architecture to DJing:

Virgil Abloh: I went to school in Madison, Wisconsin. It was perfect — when you're young and you move out of your parents' house and your group of friends becomes your network. My college roommate was a kid named Gabriel Stulman, and we were both super inspired by everything related to culture. We had a subscription to GQ, we were living like that lifestyle, and there was this issue of Puff Daddy and we were like, "This is the motivation — we want to live the best lifestyle possible."

Mickey Boardman: And that was like Ciroc Vodka and girls in bikinis for you?

Virgil Abloh: No, it was just like he is self-made and living... he's not subscribing to any limits, it's lifestyle first. From that moment on, we were going to the farmers' market, doing dinner parties. I was DJing in high school and I was still DJing in college. He worked at this fancy wine bar that we convinced to let us do a hip-hop night in. I said then even though I was in engineering that I was going to spend half of my time on something practical but the other half doing this party and making a night and a brand of heavy hip-hop in college. So him and I were super focused and had this punk spirit like, "Can't stop, won't stop," and we basically started this huge hip-hop night that was defining for nightlife in college. I would DJ, he would bartend. We would do it every Wednesday. We just fulfilled the need, but then we also had shoeboxes full of cash. We would drive to Chicago to Michigan Avenue and spend it at the Louis Vuitton store, or Kenneth Cole at the time.

Fast-forward to June 21, 2018, the day when the the Off-White designer and Louis Vuitton Men’s Artistic Director made his debut in Paris in the gardens of the Palais-Royale. Colour Theory, the designer's name for his 56-look collection, came with a new vocabulary, or in his words, “a liberal definition of terms and explanation of ideas" outlined in a dictionary left on the seat of each attendee. One new term was “accessomorphosis”, a portmanteau describing the transformation of an accessory into a garment [The Guardian]. Some of the French fashion house's signature shapes were reimagined in bright colours and even iridescent plastic, matte leather and white porcelain chain details.

In Fashion: Virgil Abloh’s Meteoric Rise & Debut for Louis Vuitton in Paris 21.06.18
In Fashion: Virgil Abloh’s Meteoric Rise & Debut for Louis Vuitton in Paris 21.06.18



In Fashion: Virgil Abloh’s Meteoric Rise & Debut for Louis Vuitton in Paris 21.06.18
In Fashion: Virgil Abloh’s Meteoric Rise & Debut for Louis Vuitton in Paris 21.06.18

The Off-White designer and Louis Vuitton Men’s Artistic Director made his debut on Thursday in Paris in the gardens of the Palais-Royale

@bleumagazine
In Fashion: Virgil Abloh’s Meteoric Rise & Debut for Louis Vuitton in Paris 21.06.18

Right: After the show, an emotional Virgil Abloh hugs Kanye West

In Fashion: Virgil Abloh’s Meteoric Rise & Debut for Louis Vuitton in Paris 21.06.18
In Fashion: Virgil Abloh’s Meteoric Rise & Debut for Louis Vuitton in Paris 21.06.18
In Fashion: Virgil Abloh’s Meteoric Rise & Debut for Louis Vuitton in Paris 21.06.18
Rihanna with A$AP Rocky in the front row | photo via @wwd
In Fashion: Virgil Abloh’s Meteoric Rise & Debut for Louis Vuitton in Paris 21.06.18
Rihanna at the show | photo via @buseonthego
In Fashion: Virgil Abloh’s Meteoric Rise & Debut for Louis Vuitton in Paris 21.06.18
Virgil Abloh with Rihanna | photo via @formation.tour.2016
In Fashion: Virgil Abloh’s Meteoric Rise & Debut for Louis Vuitton in Paris 21.06.18
@benjaminr08
In Fashion: Virgil Abloh’s Meteoric Rise & Debut for Louis Vuitton in Paris 21.06.18
@benjaminr08
In Fashion: Virgil Abloh’s Meteoric Rise & Debut for Louis Vuitton in Paris 21.06.18
@benjaminr08
In Fashion: Virgil Abloh’s Meteoric Rise & Debut for Louis Vuitton in Paris 21.06.18

2009 -- Kanye West (third from right) and Virgil Abloh (far right) photographed by Tommy Ton outside of the Comme des Garçons show in Paris | via Vogue

"Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois is my favorite building on planet earth." --Virgil Abloh, in Paper

In Fashion: Virgil Abloh’s Meteoric Rise & Debut for Louis Vuitton in Paris 21.06.18



Runway photos via The Impression & Vogue

Follow us on Instagram @thisisglamorous

0 Notes
  • Thank you for stopping in to say hello — it's lovely to hear from you!

    Please note that comments are moderated for spam, profanity, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business.