Few people in fashion worked harder than Virgil Abloh in the 2010s. The man behind the influential streetwear brand, Off-White, and, more recently, the creative head of Louis Vuitton men’s, Abloh spent the decade hustling. He came into the fashion industry seemingly from nowhere, a DJ and Kanye West’s creative right-hand man. Abloh never went to fashion school; instead, he applied a DJ’s sensibility to the business, collaborating with just about everyone and proving that mash-ups are fashion’s best tool for connecting with large, diverse swaths of people. But then a couple of months ago, Abloh announced that he was taking some time off. The guy who famously took eight flights a week needed a minute to breathe. He still worked, on Vuitton men’s, on Off-White, and on one very viral wedding dress for his friend Hailey Bieber, but mostly he was at home in Chicago, spending time with family.
Abloh is considered one of the major forces behind the streetwear trend, or, in his own words, the “post-streetwear movement,” which became a global phenomenon this past decade. The Chicago native started off as the fashion and creative director for rapper Kanye West, a position which he held for 14 years.