Virgil Abloh was born in 1980 in Rockford, Illinois, USA, into an immigrant family from Ghana.
He spent his early years in Rockford and, in 2002, earned a Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2006 he graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology and received his Master of Architecture.
In 2009, during his internship at Fendi in Italy, Abloh met world famous rapper Kanye West and they started a collaboration together. In 2011, Kanye West appointed Abloh as the creative director of his agency.
A year later, Abloh started his first business, “Pyrex Vision“. He bought stock clothes from Ralph Lauren, printed other designs on them, and sold them for more than ten times the price. The company closed a year later, as it was not destined to become a real business but was rather one of Abloh’s artistic projects / experiments.
In 2013, the designer started his own “Off-White” fashion house, specializing in high-end streetwear, headquartered in Milan. This was followed by a series of successful collaborations with established companies such as Nike and IKEA.
In March 2018, Abloh was appointed artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear.
Also in 2018, Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
In November 2021 he died after a long fight against cancer.