Born in Rockford, Illinois in 1980 – Virgil Abloh is an artist, architect, engineer, creative director, and designer. After earning a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin Madison, he completed a Master´s degree in Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology. It was here that he learned not only about design principles but also about the concept of collaborative working. He studied a curriculum devised by Mies van der Rohe on a campus he had designed.
Throughout Virgil Abloh's career, his work has been awarded in the realm of art and design. Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh™️ was first started in 2012 as an artwork titled "PYREX VISION". In 2013, "Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh™️" was introduced as a seasonal men's and women's fashion brand and additionally moved into the production of furniture designed by Virgil Abloh. Moving forward to 2015, Off-White™️ was nominated as one of the top eight finalists for the LVMH Prize in Paris.
The following year, in 2016 Virgil Abloh was inducted into the BOF 500 "The People Shaping The Global Fashion Industry" List. In the same year of 2016, he was nominated for one of the top five nominees in the category of International Urban Luxury Brand at The British Fashion Awards.
Then in 2017, Virgil Abloh was nominated as one of the top five nominees in the category of Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent at The CFDA Awards. Moving along, in 2017 Virgil Abloh was selected as a special guest to show his Spring Summer 2018 Men's OFF-WHITE c/o VIRGIL ABLOH™️ Collection in Florence, Italy during Pitti Immagine Uomo 92. At the conclusion of 2017, Virgil Abloh won the International Designer of the Year Award at the GQ Men of the Year Awards. Additionally, Virgil Abloh’s NIKE “THE TEN” Air Jordan 1 won Shoe of the Year at the FN Achievement Awards. Lastly, Virgil Abloh won the Urban Luxe Brand Award at The British Fashion Awards.
Exhibited at Podium: Shanghai 2021 Virgil Abloh’s inspiration stemmed from using the current state of reality in Venice. Using the foundation of being an architect and an engineer, Abloh was compelled to contextualize this conceptualization into a “sinking” installation which acts as a time stamp signifying a permanent object that recalls a temporary instance of the city of Venice.
What the audience views in this exhibition are not only the objects above the water surface but also the layer below the water which is being reclaimed by the sea. The main thought behind the work was how to capture this particular emotion of a non-flooded and flooded state of Venice and showcase this moment all across the world, wherever these objects may travel. Abloh used Venice itself as the inspiration, Influenced by the programming of the meandering streets - the nonlinear methodology to it all. This work is an ode to Virgil
Abloh’s signature illustrates a composition of objects’ interacting with different intentions. The ideology found is in the form of language. It is in the nomenclature of the world, understood by both the purist and tourist.
Acqua Alta was curated by Virgil Abloh and the Carpenters Workshop Gallery in collaboration with his collectible design agent Aurelie Julien. PARIS 54.
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