Virgil Abloh, born on the 30th of September 1980, studied at the university of Wisconsin-Madison as a civil engineer and at the Illinois Institute of Technology as an architect. But how did someone without any knowledge and experience in fashion become the founder of the worldwide known brand Off-White and creative director of Louis Vuitton?
The story of Virgil Abloh started when he was a student. On his graduation day, he met with Kanye West’s former manager, John Monopoly. The vision that Virgil Abloh had back then was the same vision Kanye West had: striving for a certain ‘cool’ that hasn’t been reached yet.
A combination between high-end fashion and streetwear was the vision of Virgil. He got inspired by a T-shirt of the brand Balenciaga. On this T-shirt, the sentence “JOIN A WEIRD TRIP” was printed together with a sphinx. This T-shirt was the same as all his other clothes that he had lying in his closet. But after that one T-shirt, he knew what he wanted to create.
The path to Off-White and Louis Vuitton didn’t happen in 1, 2, 3… The translation of Virgil’s vision on clothing started with his first clothing brand: Pyrex Vision. His first collection consisted of Ralph Lauren shirts with the word ‘PYREX’ printed on them. He sold these shirts for just a small sum of $500.
Pyrex Vision’s succes was huge, but Virgil quit Pyrex Vision after only one year to expand to Been Trill and eventually Off-White. The characteristics of his vision are still visible in his clothing, the prices have gone up and the clothing is produced by the same suppliers as Louis Vuitton and Valentino.