“Abloh was very inspiring, especially to the youth. His message was unrelenting, that anything is possible. He was such a big force in making fashion culturally relatable”
Across the globe, Off-White boutiques are paying tribute to the brand’s founder Virgil Abloh. The revolutionary creative force, hailed as one of the most iconic fashion designers of the 21st century, passed away last November 28 following a two-year battle with cardiac angiosarcoma cancer. He was 41.
In Manila, Off-White in Greenbelt 3 displayed its own homage to Abloh: with hundreds of sunflowers against a sign with the statement “VIRGIL FOREVER.” “Abloh was very inspiring, especially to the youth,” shared Jappy Gonzalez, president of the exclusive Philippine distributor of Off-White, the UNIVERS group. “His message was unrelenting, that anything is possible. He was such a big force in making fashion culturally relatable.”
Photo Off-White Manila
Abloh, an American fashion designer, got his start in the industry after working under Kanye West. In 2012, he founded the Italian luxury fashion label Off-White and launched his first collection for Fall 2014.
Off-White steadily gained momentum over the last 10 years under the tutelage of Abloh, who strongly believed in collaboration. He did so with artists such as A$AP Rocky and Takashi Murakami, as well as companies both within and outside of fashion like Nike and IKEA.
Photo Off-White Manila
In 2018, Abloh was named Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton menswear, a move that paved the way for one of the highest profile cross-overs between streetwear and luxury. To note, Abloh’s appointment was seen as a foot in the door for Black creatives in the predominantly white luxury fashion industry. This led him to maximize his platform at Louis Vuitton, tapping other Black artists like Kid Cudi, Devonte Hynes, and Playboi Carti for campaigns and projects.
“He paved the way for fashion to be more inclusive and relevant,” concluded Gonzalez. “He pioneered a cultural movement that brought people together. His legacy and contributions will never be forgotten.”
The legacy of Abloh lives on in Off-White Manila. The newly-opened boutique, where the “VIRGIL FOREVER” tribute can be found, is located at Level 1 of Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Makati. Store hours are from 11AM to 9PM from Sunday through Thursday and 11AM to 10PM on Fridays and Saturdays.
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver