Virgil Abloh Biography
Born in 1980 in Rockford, Illinois, engineer, architect, musician, designer and artist Virgil Abloh was a creative visionary who defied categorization. Appointed as Men’s Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton’s in 2018 and having founded the fashion house Off-White in 2013, Abloh merged luxury and streetwear in an unprecedented way, completely reimagining the landscape of fashion. Abloh made history as the first Black artistic director of Menswear at LVMH. Having earned a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2002, Abloh then earned a Master’s degree in Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2006. It is at IIT, while studying a design curriculum devised by Mies van der Rohe, that Abloh began to craft the principles of his art practice.
Throughout his multidisciplinary career, Abloh collaborated with numerous artistic initiatives, including collaborations with brands such as Evian, Moet & Chandon, Mercedes Benz and Nike, and with artists such as Takashi Murakami, among others. In 2017, Abloh was awarded the Urban Luxe Award at the British Fashion Awards and the International Designer of the Year at the GQ Men of the Year Awards. In 2018, he was named one of Time Magazine’s most influential people of the year. One year later, Abloh’s artworks were the subject of his first exhibition, Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech,” which began at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, where it made history as one of the museum’s highest attended exhibition, and traveled to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; and Qatar Museums, Doha.
Throughout the years, Sotheby’s has been fortunate enough to have collaborated extensively with Abloh and his creative endeavors. In 2020, he co-curated highlights from the Contemporary Curated auction in New York, and in 2022, Sotheby’s presented The Louis Vuitton and Nike “Air Force 1” by Abloh. Proceeds of the special global online auction benefitted The Virgil Abloh™ “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund, an organization launched by Abloh in 2020 that aims to foster equity and inclusion within the fashion industry by providing scholarships to academically promising students of Black, African American, or African descent.