On Nov. 28, the world lost one of its brightest and most prolific creators, Virgil Abloh. The Off-White founder, men’s artistic director at Louis Vuitton, frequent Nike collaborator, DJ, architect, etc. passed away at the age of 41 after two years of privately battling a rare form of cancer called cardiac angiosarcoma.
Condolences and tribute pieces dedicated to Abloh are still populating social media almost a week later. Some are from close friends who knew him personally. Others are from people who had a one-off exchange with him through DMs. Some are just from people who love and own his products. But it shows how many people were impacted by him. And how could he not have that level of impact and reach? Abloh seemed to constantly be giving the world something new, whether it was his latest collection for Off-White, an Air Jordan he dreamed of designing as a kid, or just a free flow of ideas in hopes that the next generation will latch onto his advice. As he explained in a Complex interview from 2020, it’s a level of work ethic he borrowed from one of his heroes, Michael Jordan.
“When you watch the Michael Jordan documentary, it’s safe to say that he didn’t take any days off. He didn’t even take recreational sports off, a card game to a golf game was as equal to a Finals championship. And once I saw that as a local role model, I just applied that to things that I was into,” said Abloh. “I don’t take days off. I don’t sleep. I don’t go on vacation. I enjoy life, it’s not all that I do, but it’s my thing. You pick your head up and you see what he achieved, a simple game of putting a ball in a hoop, he advanced the whole idea of it. And I look at design and culture that way.”
It cannot be overstated exactly how much Abloh was able to accomplish in his 41 years on this earth. By no means are these all of his accolades, but here are 10 of Abloh’s biggest career milestones.