Born to Ghanaian parents, the rise of Virgil Abloh in the fashion industry

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Ghanaian-American fashion icon, Virgil Abloh Ghanaian-American fashion icon, Virgil Abloh

Ghana-American fashion icon, Virgil Abloh is dead

Virgil succumbs to cancer

Ghanaians mourn Virgil Abloh

The fashion industry and persons who were touched by the life of Virgil Abloh have mourned his demise.

The 41-year-old fashion icon and founder of the fashion company, Off-White was until his death the Creative Director of Menswear for Louis Vuitton.

Virgil Abloh’s demise has been described as a monumental loss to the world, especially Ghanaians, who took pride in the strides made by one of their own on the global stage.

Abloh was born on September 30, 1980, in Rockford, Illinois, to Ghanaian immigrant parents, Nee Abloh and Eunice Abloh. His mother was a seamstress and his father managed a paint company.

Raised in Rockford, young Virgil attended the Boylan Catholic High School and then moved to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and then to Illinois Institute of Technology.

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In 2012, Virgil described as a rare creative mind founded the Pyrex Vision later rebranded to Off-White, an Italian luxury fashion company in Milan.

The fashion icon first learned how to sew from his mother, Eunice Abloh.

Based on his peculiar designers and work with top-notch runway collections, he rose to the position as the Creative Director of Menswear for Louis Vuitton on March 25, 2018, until he died in 2021.

Virgil had served as artistic director of award-winning American singers Kanye West and Jay-Z. The late Virgil had a love for music, he designed some hip-hop album covers including, Kanye West’s “Yeezus” and “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”. Also, The Throne’s “Watch the Throne” album cover was designed by Virgil as well as Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon” cover.

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Abloh’s death has been a massive shock to the world as his 2-year cancer diagnosis was not made public.

Despite his height in International fashion, Mr Abloh never forgot his Ghanaian root. In January this year, the Fall/Winter 2021 Louis Vuitton Men’s collection designed by him featured elements of rich kente cloth from Ghana.

Virgil made a connection with young Ghanaian artistes. His constant messages and gifts to singers including Jhad Bhad of Asakaa fame and Amerado will forever be cherished.

Virgil Abloh who died on November 27, 2021, of cancer is survived by his wife Shannon Abloh, his children Lowe Abloh and Grey Abloh.

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Part of a statement announcing his death read: “For over two years, Virgil valiantly battled a rare, aggressive form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma. He chose to endure his battle privately since his diagnosis in 2019, undergoing numerous challenging treatments, all while helming several significant institutions that span fashion, art, and culture. Through it all, his work ethic, infinite curiosity, and optimism never wavered. Virgil was driven by his dedication to his craft and to his mission to open doors for others and create pathways for greater equality in art and design. He often said, “Everything I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself.”

Virgil and family

Iconic designs by Virgil

Album covers designed by Virgil

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