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“Go Hard” At Being You, Create With Limitless Boundaries, and Other Great Motivators We Learned From

This past week, the fashion and creativity community mourned the loss of a true visionary, Virgil Abloh. Virgil Abloh was most notably known as Louis Vuitton’s artistic director for their menswear line, as well as Chief Executive Officer of Off-White, a modern street apparel company he had curated himself from the ground up.

As we remember and celebrate his life, we can’t help but acknowledge the influence he had on the fashion community. He saw fashion, not only as clothing and designs, but as so much more. He saw fashion as a movement, as expression, and as a way for people to be truly seen and heard.

He once said, "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.” With his limited time on earth, Virgil was a living testimony to the sentiment. He disrupted what we thought fashion was and pushed boundaries we could never imagine.

Virgil Abloh had a whirlwind career, starting out working with Kanye West to collaborating with some of the most notable brands in Fashion including, Prada, Gucci, Fendi, and Louis Vuitton, where he would serve as one of their key players.

While there is no arguing that Abloh was a disruptor in fashion (in a wonderful way!), it’s important to note that it was never about the accolades for him. His perspective on fashion was an extension on life. Virgil was once quoted stating, ​​ “I don't get too bogged down in the clothes. For me, it's one big art project, just a canvas to show that fashion should have a brand which has someone behind it who cares about different contexts. Social things.” His work was reflective of how he lived his life, with intention, curiosity and creativity. He also never lost sight of who he is, where he came from, and what he is working towards. Not only did Abloh create his own scholarship fund, but he also partnered with Nike to help redesign a Boys and Girls Club for Chicago, and donated profits from his clothing brand to support Black Businesses.

Virgil also understood the power of fashion and expression. He used his platform to raise important conversations regarding status, race and identity and how these issues are embedded not only in our everyday lives but in fashion as well. He used fashion for social commentary, empowerment, and radical expression, calling out issues such as racism and homophobia, topics that we have not historically seen associated with fashion.

While this loss is one that we will never truly grasp, Virgil’s work and influence in the fashion community and in life, is one that will live on. Virgil once said, "“In some ways, my life has been one big performance art project, it's not me at the centre stage but rather suggesting ideas, working on them, helping an artist share them with the world and watching the response — using that mood and feel to influence and inject new ideas.” His life, his performance can never be forgotten.

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