art by Trevor Williams III October 16, 2022
As a trailblazing fashion designer and entrepeneur, Virgil Abloh’s legacy continues to grow by the day, even after losing his private battle with heart cancer in 2021 at the age of 41.
While he was most known for his role as Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton, it was the work behind the scenes that made him special.
Virgil was a true innovator who had the foresight to see a world he wanted even after he was gone. This is evidenced by a bunch of his unique projects that would long outlive him.
“You know who I am most inspired by? That kid that hasn’t had the chance to showcase their brand yet. Those kids motivate the work I do every day. That’s the muse for me: the next generation. And I want my work to inspire people like them”– Virgil Abloh
From educating the youth to just giving them a place to be creative, here are just a few of the amazing things left to us by Virgil.
In 2020, Virgil created plans to design and build Freedom Skatepark, the first skatepark ever in the country of Ghana. And while he wasn’t there to see it, Off-White and Daily Paper came together to make it come to life.
Located in the middle of Accra, not only does this skatepark give the youth a place to develop their passions but it is used as a creative hub for people to spread ideas and away from any pain or violence they live through.
The Freedom Skatepark honors Virgil was a “VIRGIL WAS HERE” sign to remind all of the skaters and creatives to keep going.
Virgil Abloh was as much an entrepreneur as he was an artist. So he knew kids coming up likely had the same questions that he had.
That’s why he created a free website with tools such as how to develop your brand, get a trademark done, a tutorial on how to design on Adobe Creative Suite, how to screen print, and more.
Not only that but he created this as a resource to support Black creatives under a tuition support fund called the Post-Modern Scholarship Fund.
Described as “the ultimate legacy collaboration,” Project Maybach was just a taste of the innovation Virgil had in store for us.
Along with the chief design officer of Daimler AG, Gorden Wagener, they designed an off-read Maybach to push the boundaries of combining utility with luxury.
In a mini-doc released by Mercedes, they highlight the creative process between Virgil and the Mercedes team and eventually brought the concept to life to honor Abloh and his contributions.
Sustainability was always very important to Virgil Abloh, and his work with Evian as Creative Advisor for Sustainable Innovation Design is another testament to that.
In 2018 he partnered with a French bottled water company to create a make a bottle made of 100% recycled materials. The design had a “hammered” finish to reflect its previous life.
Virgil Abloh was a prolific album cover artist for some of the greatest rappers including his longtime friend Kanye West.
For Ye, Virgil was responsible for the covers of 808s & Heartbreaks, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Yeezus, and Watch the Throne with Jay-Z.
As well as many other iconic covers such as Based On A T.R.U. Story for 2 Chainz, Long.Live.A$AP for A$AP Rocky, and Luv Is Rage 2 for Lil Uzi.
No doubt Virgil’s work within fashion, music, and products will continue to live on and inspire forever. A true game changer who was able to leave his impact regardless of the time he had.