The new book on Virgil Abloh from Vuitton

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Virgil Abloh was a breath of fresh air in the world of fashion, a breeze that in just a few years has left a mark that is not only indelible, but admirable and exemplary. Born in Rockford, Illinois, to a family of Ghanaian descent, he studied civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, after which he earned a master’s degree in architecture from the Ilinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago, where he remains much fascinated by the ideology and principles of the German architect and designer Mies van der Rohe. These various influences will also be addressed in the collections of furniture elements in which urban and rationalist influences were mixed with natural elements.


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During his engineering studies he has Kanye West as a classmate, who soon became one of the most followed rappers and record companies of our contemporaneity, as well as his great friend. Beside him Abloh is also in a period of internship at Fendi, in 2009, a moment that marks the official entry of the designer into the jet-set of international fashion, after having worked mainly in the street fashion of Chicago. Also together with Kanye West, in 2012 he founded Off-White in Milan, an Italian luxury company specializing in the creation of clothing and accessories born from the combination and mixture of high and low, street and high fashion, often producing limited collections that are snapped up. in a few minutes and that attract the attention of the whole world of international fashion.

All this long and multifaceted path, always uphill, leads him to be appointed artistic director of the Louis Vuitton men’s collection in 2018, the year in which Abloh also appears in the magazine Time among the 100 most influential people in the world – it is impossible to forget that Virgil Abloh was the first American of African descent to be artistic director in a French luxury fashion house. In 2019 the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago dedicates a major retrospective to him, enjoying enormous success with audiences and critics. Shortly after this great exhibition, unfortunately, the designer disappears due to a rare form of tumor, in 2021.

Today a book has come out about him, Louis Vuitton: Virgil Abloh, the first editorial testimony dedicated to this unique figure who changed the course of fashion history. Published by Assouline, Louis Vuitton: Virgil Abloh is the testimony of a figure who changed the course of fashion history, written by his close colleague and British fashion critic Anders Christian Madsen. Inclusiveness, diversity and empowerment are three fields of investigation that are studied in these pages, as cornerstones of the designer’s thinking.

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Divided into eight chapters, one for each of the eight Louis Vuitton menswear collections and shows conceived by Virgil Abloh, in addition to the complete catalog of Louis Vuitton sneakers designed by the designer, the book takes readers into a unique world, made of kites, rainbows , full of cultural references and tales, from The Wizard of Oz and James Baldwin to the hip-hop style of the 90s and a jaw-dropping 1969 drum solo.

With over three hundred and twenty incredibly emblematic images and personal reflections from Abloh’s close circle of friends, including Nigo, Naomi Campbell, Luka Sabbat, Kendall Jenner and Kid Cudi, the book is the ultimate chronicle and exploration of a partnership that has redefined what is not. just the dress codes but their own vocabulary.

The article is in Italian

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