Browse all

The 10 most iconic creations of Virgil Abloh according to the editorial staff of nss magazine

Walter d'Aprile and the editorial staff of the magazine tell the designer through his works

The 10 most iconic creations of Virgil Abloh according to the editorial staff of nss magazine Walter d'Aprile and the editorial staff of the magazine tell the designer through his works

Virgil Abloh's career, although it lasted about fifteen years, was extraordinarily rich in projects, creations and collaborations. Whether it's works of art, cult sneakers or items full of cultural references that have appeared in its many fashion collections, Abloh's legacy is huge and that's why the CEO and the editorial staff of nss magazine have decided to celebrate it with a collective article telling it through ten of his most iconic creations.

A review that wants to be the anthology of a long career, but also an episodic and multi-perspective narrative on the work of a designer who has profoundly changed not only the fashion industry, but also the very notion of luxury. Although these objects represent a tangible testimony of Abloh's creative work, the greatest legacy of the American designer has been immaterial: a mindframe, a method, a way of looking at things and understanding the work of the contemporary creative. Indeed, one could almost say that Abloh has provided, offering himself and his career as models, the blueprint of new creativity to a new generation of designers.

Here are the 10 most iconic creations of Virgil Abloh according to the editorial staff of nss magazine. 

Been Trill T-shirts

Very often people make the mistake of thinking that the success of OFF-White was immediate and obvious, forgetting that that project represents the passions, joys and sorrows of a life dedicated to the search for beauty through their work. The first Tees of Been Trill with Heron and Matthew, worn by Kanye, represent the beginning of the dream, the sense of possibility that must continue to guide us every day. Around a tshirt designed with old friends and to wear to the favorite party was created a legacy that changed the fashion industry forever. 

(Walter D’Aprile)

Architecture as a subtext

I grew up in a family of architects and I know well the strengths and weaknesses of the category. One of the most fascinating sides of the job is to deconstruct the meaning that make up the codes of a style: to recognize a line, a material or a detail, isolate it and put it in a completely different context. Nor will it change the meaning, but somehow it will carry with it what was before and allow it to be looked at in a new light. In this we could summarize the poetics of Virgil, who in his career has dedicated himself to the spasmodic search for joints, as if contemporary culture were a Rubik's cube with infinite possible combinations. Thanks to this approach Abloh has never seen barriers between distant sectors, he has understood how you can make a record inspired by Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House or a sneaker in which Jenny Holzer echoes.

(Filippo D’Asaro)

"You’re Obviously in the Wrong Place" Sculpture 

There is no better definition to explain all that Virgil represented. A degree in architecture to become the creative director of a rapper, then t-shirts to get to create a brand and finally streetwear, graffiti and skate to be the first African American to hold the helm of Louis Vuitton. You are obviously in the wrong place. The neon sculpture is a sort of minimal summa of Abloh's work as an artist, as he liked to call himself. Immediate, deep, pop. A neon that crystallizes a message that served as an opening to his personal, "Figures of Speech", which from Chicago has traveled half the world. As he did, always feeling in the right place in the wrong place. Obviously. 

(Francesco Abazia)

Louis Vuitton SS19 "Wizard of Oz" Sweater 

The "Wizard of Oz" inlay sweater, which appeared during Abloh's debut show at Louis Vuitton, remains one of the most easily recognizable items of all its collections. Throughout the show there were references to the famous '39 film, often considered one of the best film representations of the American Dream - then also appeared in a series of pop-ups in Louis Vuitton stores around the world. The story of The Wizard of Oz follows four characters excluded from society who come together and go in search of their dream, finally discovering that what they were looking for had been part of them from the beginning. In addition to the image of the yellow brick street, the film uses the visual theme of the rainbow (the song Over the Rainbow comes from there) followed by Abloh also in the order of looks, organized by color, and in the color of the catwalk: a probable reference to how white light, reflected in a prism, "opens" showing the spectrum of all colors - a perfect metaphor for the arrival of Abloh at the helm of the brand. 

(Lorenzo Salamone)

Virgil Abloh x IKEA "KEEP OFF" Rug 

"I'm the twentieth, it's full of children with parents." It's 7:51 a.m. on an anonymous Wednesday in May when a friend of mine warns me that he's in line, ready for his turn in what was shaping up to be one of the most important drops of that year. But there are no sneakers waiting beyond the doors of the store, but above all that store is the Ikea of Porta di Roma, a shopping center known in Rome for many reasons, but certainly not for its drops and campouts. "Do you know why they have the meter? They do not know if the carpet enters the machine" adds Raffaele talking about the object of desire of those present, the "KEEP OFF" carpet spearhead of the collaboration between Virgil Abloh and Ikea, the real reason why that anonymous shopping center usually a shopping destination of the average Roman had suddenly filled with a kilometer-long queue. If we have said many times that the work of Virgil Abloh has created bridges, has united worlds and broken down barriers, perhaps seeing such a scene, a campout in an anonymous Roman shopping center tells us just one of those bridges, a small moment part of a decidedly larger story that on that morning of a Roman Wednesday saw another miracle by Virgil Abloh.

(Francesco Martino)

Louis Vuitton LV Trainer

Many words were spent on the clear similarity of the LV Trainer to the AVIA 880 and the Air Jordan 3. Bootleg or non-bootleg the operation implemented by Virgil was cunning and celebratory: drawing inspiration from silhouettes symbol for sneaker culture by strongly imposing colors and details in the world of high fashion. A declaration of love to "culture", to what Virgil, Kanye, Don C have always worn. It's a bit like when you manage the lists of a party and among the first names you enter your friends.Thank u V.

(Ilaria Grande)

Louis Vuitton Keepall Bandoulière 50 Prism 

I remember seeing that show (Virgil's first for Louis Vuitton) live from my office station eating a sandwich on the fly because that event, it was known, would revolutionize and mark the history of fashion forever. What struck me most that day was the use of Virgil's accessories, which became an integral part of the outfit in that collection: the pockets on the garments, the shoulder straps, the functional vests and the bags that completed the outfits impeccably. Here are the bags, in particular the Prism Keepall. I remember that a beam of light beating on the Palais Royal that day illuminated that very bag highlighting, once again, Abloh's pioneering vision: the combination of iridescent coloring with LV monogram, a metaphor for the youthful vivacity it meets with Louis Vuitton elegance. Reinterpreting iconic bags - the brown ones with the monogram marrancio clear to be clear - is not for everyone and who if not Virgil could overcome those barriers? Going outside the box that we have repeatedly emphasized to be the distinctive feature of Abloh has manifested itself in the care for the accessories of that collection and that bag is perhaps the symbol of his revolution. Because, as Coco Chanel said, "fashion passes, style remains". And what, if not an accessory, distinguishes and marks the style of a person? 

(Carmelo Tedino)

Louis Vuitton SS19 Leather Cut Away Vest/Harness

It can continue to be called "vest" without being what everyone imagines. Just as Virgil has always done, shifting the common beliefs that to make a vest you need a whole one. In the same way, from the world of diving, he has been able to recreate the iconic item of his first debut collection in the maison French.  

(Elisa Ambrosetti)

Louis Vuitton SS21 “DouDou” Teddy Bear 

Louis Vuitton "Doudou" teddy bear was not only an iconic puppet of the SS 21 menswear show, with the classic monogram pattern and the color palette that immediately recalls the LV logo to the imaginary, nor an innocent quote from the SS05 collection, but the response to the controversial accusations of plagiarism made by belgian designer Walter Van Beirendonck to Virgil Abloh. A symbol that becomes the spokesman of several meanings that are enriched and confused with each other and that remain partly a mystery. Abloh on Instagram specified how the bear had been designed by the brand's then menswear designer, Keith Warren, inspired by the LGBT-themed cult novel Return to Brideshead (in which a plush bear is one of the central elements of the plot), while in a seven-page essay on his African origins, he told of when, in a Parisian toy store,  he had glimpsed himself reflected in a mirror with pockets full of puppets of all shapes and colors for his children and had remembered, instinctively, the carved masks and traditional dolls of Ghana.

(Maria Stanchieri)

Off-White AW16 “Industrial Belt” 

Inspired by the yellow ribbon of the construction areas, Off-White's "Industrial Belt" is an item that has represented the successful work-in-progress of the brand over the years, from being a breaking item to becoming an entry-level purchase for fans of the figure of Virgil. The first version appears in the A/W 16 during Paris Fashion Week, and the winter after it already enthuses the lives of fashion afecionados as a symbol of belonging to the streetstyle revolution that is born from the street in the world of luxury fashion. The quotation mark "CAUTION" extends along the entire length of the yellow or black nylon ribbon, later also proposed in pink, red and off-white colorways, which becomes a hyper-versatile and highly desired accessory. In 2019 with the new design also comes the 2.0 version, with a metal strap with a strong eco workwear. 

(Irene Coltrinari)