Virgil Abloh is the current undisputed king of the men’s fashion world. He has also become one of the busiest, known for his nonstop, jet-set lifestyle. In addition to working on seasonal collections for OFF-WHITE and Louis Vuitton, the designer has famously collaborated with brands like Ikea, Nike and Jimmy Choo.
Abloh also recently joined the Council of Fashion Designers of America as a new board member and hosted a retrospective of his work in Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art.
However, it seems that this non-stop lifestyle has, in fact, stopped – if only temporarily.
Earlier last month, the men’s artistic director of Louis Vuitton and founder of OFF-WHITE announced that he will be taking some time off to focus on his health, meaning he skipped his Off-White show at Paris Fashion Week.
“Virgil Abloh shared today that he is shifting gears to a pace less than his usual constant work and travel for a few months due to health considerations,” a spokesperson for Abloh said in a statement to Business of Fashion.
“Virgil is designing the OFF-WHITE show in Paris to replace his attendance, with a creative new approach that will include crowd participation. He continues to work closely with his teams at Louis Vuitton Men’s and OFF-WHITE as well as with brands he collaborates with around the world.”
In an interview with Vogue, Abloh declined to go into specifics about his health issue but did say that his doctors have advised him not to travel.
“Essentially I’m working from home for the next three months, and in large part all my marketing events I’m cancelling.”
Along with public appearances with Ikea and Nike and participation in Vogue’s third annual Forces of Fashion summit, this means he will miss the November opening of his exhibition Figures of Speech at the High Museum in Atlanta.
Most notably, Abloh said he would be absent at Paris Fashion Week. And while he may not have been in attendance, both his Louis Vuitton and OFF-WHITE shows appeared to run without a hitch, drawing the same crowds and celebrity supporters.
Overall, it is impressive that he is able to discuss the issue with the media. Talking about his health openly is a great step in the right direction for men’s health awareness in an industry where it has been suppressed for so long. Abloh’s admission that he was “tired” is inspirational and shows taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be perceived as weakness. “I’m using this as I do everything else, as a way to propel me forward,” he told Vogue.
Hopefully, the announcement of the revised OFF-WHITE logo signals a new chapter for the designer. The logo appeared during the recent Spring 2020 runway show debuted at Paris Fashion Week dubbed “Meteor Shower,” and also appears on a range of garment tags for the collection.
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To learn more about Mental Health Awareness Week visit the website www.mhaw.nz for ideas on how you can celebrate mental wellbeing in your workplace, kura, school or home and download resources. If you need to speak with someone, contact Lifeline on 0800 543 354, Samaritans on 0800 726 666, or Suicide Crisis Helpline on 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO).