On November 28, 2021, at age 41, the world-renowned American fashion designer and visionary artist Virgil Abloh lost his battle with cancer. This article is a tribute to Abloh’s creativity! And may we not forget the seriousness of cancer as we remember his life and celebrate his exuberant streetwear designs and aesthetic product designing in the form of water bottles and furniture, which helped us visualize the intersections of the digital and physical world and assisted in our development of an effective design process.
A Passion for Design
Born in 1980 into a family of Ghanaian immigrants, Virgil Abloh’s passion for designing came at an early age. From watching his mother's sewing, attaining a degree in civil engineering to holding a master's in architecture, Abloh got inspired by Rem Koolhas’s architecture (who worked on runway collections for Prada). His interest in industrial designing later sparked his passion for fashion.
Fashion and music are two great artistic forms that can be molded by the youth culture - our taste and our passion for evolving things in our limited time on earth allows us to look at things with fresh eyes.
The Abloh Style
In 2009 Kenzo began his remarkable career with the opening of a retail store known as the RSVP Gallery and partnering with Kanye West. In 2013, Abloh founded his first fashion house with the high-end streetwear brand Off-White. He also partnered up with IKEA to design furniture for apartments and houses as well as an easy-to-carry tote. Abloh worked towards fulfilling his vision for the IKEA collection by sketching out drafts of generic pieces of furniture while adding his own aesthetics to the designs by using a doorstop to level out furniture items. In 2017, he was asked to design a new collection in conjunction with Nike entitled "The Ten" and he re-designed a variety of the company's best-selling shoes. On March 25, 2018, he was named the artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear ready-wear line, making him the first person of African descent to lead the brand's menswear line, as well as one of the few black designers at the helm of a major French fashion house.
Into the World of Product Designing and Industrial Design
Abloh is known to make groundbreaking interior designs, putting a serious impact by his iconic stamp on daily consumer objects such as chairs, lamps, plates, ceramic blocks, clocks, doormats, etc.
Here are some of his best works
Recycled Bottles (Evian)
Abloh focused on cutting down on reducing plastic packaging waste. He created the first recycled plastic bottle for the company. He designed a shape representative of Evian’s brand that also showcased how the bottle has been reinvented from old bottles.
Off-White’s Collab, Louis Vuitton & IKEA Designs
Off-White’s Home Collection
In 2019, Abloh released more than 80 home products, ranging from dressing gowns and umbrellas to doorstops that resembled wedges of Swiss cheese.
Off-White’s Collab with AMO
Abloh collaborated with AMO director Samir Bantal to create a flagship in Miami. It’s a multi-purpose space that also functions as a fulfillment center and a flexible event space for gigs, fashion shows, and talks.
Men’s Collection for Louis Vuitton
He even linked his iconic architectural roots to his fashion-wear designs. In the Fall-Winter Collection of 2021, Abloh designed puffer jackets with 3D building models. Some of the designs featured prominent landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower.
Rug for IKEA
With his idea of affordable designs, Abloh wanted to create something unique for the less-affluent masses, especially students and youngsters moving into their first houses. He reinvented a boring/regular rug into something as unique as a ‘receipt rug’. His designs were new age and quirky, giving a slight hint to pop culture.
As ui ux designers, our team at Neointeraction design looks for inspiration from exemplary people in a variety of professions, and Virgil Abloh is one of those individuals who helped us develop our sense of identity and brand. Virgil will always be remembered as a visionary with a wonderful soul and great wisdom.