Virgil Abloh’s Visionary Career
Throughout his dazzling career, Virgil Abloh came to embody a singular expression of the American dream. The son of Ghanaian immigrants, Abloh grew up in Rockford, Illinois, and earned degrees in civil engineering and architecture before pursuing his calling in fashion. Starting out as a t-shirt designer for a Chicago print shop, he would eventually ascend to the very heights of the industry, taking his place at the world’s most powerful luxury group.
While working in Chicago, Abloh met Kanye West, with whom he would collaborate on numerous projects as the creative director of Donda, West’s creative incubator. In 2013, Abloh struck out on his own to found the trailblazing fashion label Off-White, showcasing acclaimed collections that drew equal inspiration from the worlds of architecture, fine art and hip hop. By 2017, Abloh was an established figure in streetwear. Affirming his cultural prominence, Nike tapped the longtime sneakerhead to design a limited collab series, “The Ten.” Today, the Virgil Abloh designs – deconstructed reimaginings of ten iconic silhouettes – remain among the most sought-after Nike shoes.
In 2018, in a historic appointment, Abloh was named the artistic director of men’s wear for Louis Vuitton. During his tenure at the French maison, Abloh cemented his legacy as a design luminary, bridging the rich heritage of Louis Vuitton with the creative zeitgeist. Known for his effortless marriage of streetwear and high fashion, Abloh applied his genre-expanding genius to the greater project of fostering equity and inclusion in his industry.
Following his death in November of 2021, Abloh’s wife quoted him as saying: “Everything I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself.” He deeply believed in “the power of art to inspire future generations.” Today, Abloh’s legacy lives on through his charity, The Virgil Abloh “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund. In early 2022, a record-breaking auction of 200 pairs of Louis Vuitton Virgil Abloh x Nike Air Force 1s raised $25.3 million, with Louis Vuitton's proceeds going to the fund, providing scholarships and mentorship to fashion students of Black, African-American or African descent.
Virgil Abloh’s fashion designs continue to rank among the most coveted styles from Louis Vuitton, underscoring the designer’s impact. Read on to discover more of our favorite Virgil Abloh designs from the Virgil Abloh Louis Vuitton collections, available for immediate purchase.
10 Louis Vuitton Virgil Abloh Designs to Add to Your Collection
For Spring/Summer 2019 – the first Louis Vuitton Virgil Abloh menswear collection – the designer took inspiration from The Wizard of Oz. In the 1939 film, the Kansas-bred protagonist Dorothy Gale finds herself transported to a dizzying technicolor realm. Abloh, too, was a newcomer to a strange and fantastical world: the first maker of streetwear to take the reins at a preeminent French fashion house. In the rainbow-hued debut collection of Virgil Abloh Louis Vuitton designs, previewed in June of 2018, Abloh’s optimism for a more inclusive future was on vivid display.
This Louis Vuitton white shirt sees Abloh once again embellishing upon a streetwear staple. On the front of the Louis Vuitton t-shirt, the words “Not Home” appear in rainbow colors above Abloh’s bold take on the Louis Vuitton signature. The back of the Louis Vuitton white shirt is printed with the words “Kansas Winds” and features a geometrically-rendered tornado– a reference, of course, to the storm which carries Dorothy to Oz.
The SS19 presentation opened with a parade of monochrome white looks – a reference, perhaps, to Abloh’s own Off-White label, and to the colorless world in which we first meet Dorothy Gale. Best known for streetwear, Abloh proved that he was equally adept in the vernacular of traditional luxury with fine leather goods like this white Louis Vuitton belt. The white Louis Vuitton belt, in Taurillon leather, is embossed with the iconic LV monogram and secured with a matte white buckle in the shape of the LV initials.
This cycling-inspired Louis Vuitton jacket is another perfect example of Abloh’s virtuosic synthesis of luxury materials, streetwear styling, and winking pop cultural references. The Louis Vuitton jacket is adorned with colorful patches featuring quotes from the Wizard of Oz. A circular patch on the white Louis Vuitton top reads, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain,” while another says, “No one knows what’s going to happen next.” A third patch, appearing below the Louis Vuitton jacket’s prominent branding, is emblazoned with one of the movie’s most iconic lines: “Follow the yellow brick road.”
Another covetable white-on-white offering from the first Louis Vuitton Virgil Abloh lineup, this Louis Vuitton crewneck sweatshirt was presented exclusively at a men’s pop-up event. The understated Louis Vuitton Wizard of Oz sweater depicts the welcoming and good-natured Scarecrow beneath the words “Visit Oz.” Elevating the classic streetwear silhouette of the white Louis Vuitton crewneck, the design is finished with refined tonal embroidery.
Abloh’s Wizard of Oz theme continues with another striking Louis Vuitton t-shirt. The Louis Vuitton black shirt features a bold LV monogram, expressed in a distinctive yellow brick pattern that pays homage to the famed yellow brick road.
The yellow brick road makes yet another standout appearance in this boldly-hued designer scarf from Louis Vuitton. Made from a delicate blend of cotton and silk, the luxurious Louis Vuitton scarf depicts the famous scene in which Dorothy and her traveling companions embark on their journey to the Emerald City. Abloh’s fresh Louis Vuitton signature at the bottom corner completes the design. The rare Louis Vuitton scarf was made available only to VIP clients, adding to its exclusive allure.
Also hailing from Abloh’s SS19 collection, this colorful Louis Vuitton bandana is inkjet printed with a psychedelic pink and blue 3D rendering of the LV initials logo. The designer’s updated take on the LV signature adds the final touch to the Louis Vuitton bandana scarf.
Another iteration featuring the Louis Vuitton 3D logo, this Louis Vuitton bandana stands out in hues of fluorescent yellow and black. This version of the Louis Vuitton bandana features Abloh’s rendition of the LV signature in white, contrasting against the black ground.
Following the brilliant success of his debut runway collection, Abloh turned his attention toward creating a capsule collection of timeless wardrobe essentials. The result, launching in Spring of 2019, was the Staples Edition by Louis Vuitton. Among the collection’s 30 menswear staples was this Louis Vuitton inside out t-shirt. Crafted in a slightly loose fit, the LV tee features distinctive inside-out effect stitching on the shoulder. On the back of the Louis Vuitton black t-shirt, an inside-out effect label and removable Louis Vuitton Staples Edition label add a signature touch. An engraved staple on the left side of the black Louis Vuitton tee completes the look.
Hailing from the SS20 lineup, this Louis Vuitton side bag is a stunning example of Abloh’s distinctive take on luxury. The Louis Vuitton Monogram bag, which harnesses over the body with thin straps that wrap around the waist and over the shoulder, subtly recalls one of Abloh’s earliest and most iconic designs for the brand– the mid-layer harness. Constructed with premium cowhide leather and accented with fluorescent orange toggle buttons, the unique silhouette of this Louis Vuitton side bag exemplifies Abloh’s signature synthesis of swagger and savoir-faire.