Virgil Abloh (/ˈæbloʊ/; born September 30, 1980) is an American fashion designer, entrepreneur, artist, and DJ who has been the artistic director of Louis Vuitton's men's wear collection since March 2018. Abloh is also the chief executive officer of the Milan-based label Off-White, a fashion house he founded in 2013.
A trained architect, Abloh, who also worked in Chicago street fashion, entered the world of international fashion with an internship at Fendi in 2009 alongside rapper Kanye West. The two then began an artistic collaboration that would launch Abloh's career into founding Off-White. The first American of African descent to be artistic director at a French luxury fashion house, he was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2018.
Virgil Abloh was born on September 30, 1980, in Rockford, Illinois, to Ghanaian immigrant parents. His mother was a seamstress and his father managed a paint company. Abloh was raised in Rockford, where he attended Boylan Catholic High School, graduating in 1998. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering. He received his Master of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in 2006. When Abloh was attending IIT there was a building on campus under construction designed by the architect Rem Koolhaas which helped spark his interests for fashion. While studying architecture, he designed t-shirts and wrote on fashion and design for a well known blog, The Brilliance. Abloh first met popular musician Kanye West while working on his designs at a Chicago print shop.