Watch | Virgil Abloh - pioneer, polymath, disruptor

November 30, 2021 15:21 IST
Updated: November 30, 2021 16:09 IST

The designer succumbed to his battle against cancer at age 41, but the fashion language and legacy he leaves behind will continue to drive generations

A young engineering graduate who also got an architecture masters along the way and interned at Fendi’s Rome office (with Ye, who earlier went by Kanye West) in the late noughties, Virgil Abloh never claimed to be a fashion designer. As he said, he was “riding the wave” every day in the world of design, observing it, studying it, and envisaging when and where it will break.

In 2013, when he founded Off-White — which he defined as the grey between black and white — out of Milan, his influence grew. His first releases, although rooted in deep design with rich historical allegories, were interpreted in a manner that everyone could connect with. It was quite polarising — the zip ties, Caravaggio canvasses, Bauhaus influences, those ubiquitous double quotes. People either loved it or completely derided it, there was no sitting on the fence with what Virgil presented you with.

Virgil was not a copycat, as many had once alleged; he was just utterly brilliant at repurposing. To use a cliché, he saw things as they weren’t and questioned, why the hell not.

Read the full story: Thank you, Virgil Abloh

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