Ds Scholarship

Virgil Abloh’s ‘Post-Modern’ Scholarship Students Reflect

Photo: Christian Verig/Getty Images

“My real job is to make sure there are six black kids who take over my job after me,” Virgil Abloh told Fril Williams in an interview in January. “What I will like most is the next candidate for a house being hired because the next designer has this background, like, a multidisciplinary background, who comes from not a fashion school, thinks in a different dimension, and gets a chance.”

Abloh—the designer of menswear for Louis Vuitton as well as his brand Off-White, who died of a rare form of cancer last month—was not a traditional designer; The DJ-ed was interested in furniture design, and studied architecture rather than fashion at Illinois Institute of Technology.

Abloh was well aware of youth culture, recognized as the influential link for creative industries worldwide. “Everything I do is for my 17-year-old version,” he once said. When his Instagram followers send him direct messages, Abloh will reply. He curated a website for open access resources for art and design aspirants with his “Free Games” hub that included links to topics like “How to Name Your Brand,” “How to Get Branded,” and “How to Use the Adobe Creativity Suite.” At his first runway show for Louis Vuitton Men’s in 2018, he invited more than 3000 students at School of Art and Design To witness his appointment as the first black man to lead the heritage brand.

In July 2020, Abloh announced that $1 million was raised for a “Postmodern” scholarship in partnership with the Fashion Scholarship Fund that will provide tuition support for black design students. Talking about the importance of the new scholarship, he said the face, “We are all aware of the paradox that exists for black people in the world, but [particularly] in the fashion, art and design industries. “

The course was intended for students of black, African American, or African descent who were in their junior year. Students were asked to complete rigorous case studies that involved creating a digital presentation for a fashion brand that included ethics, marketing and sales strategies as well as diagrams that helped bring them to life. The Fashion and Abloh Scholarship Fund reviewed applications and selected 20 scholars to receive the award, and the award included connections to training programs in design, sales, and marketing.

Elizabeth Iorindi, 23.
Photo: Courtesy of Theme

“He talked to us not just about creating our own space but about inviting others into it. He emphasized collaboration and uplifting our peers,” wrote Elizabeth Iorindi, 23, a recent graduate and postmodern scholarship recipient who trained at Rimowa as part of her scholarship. “My being affected by this initiative makes it necessary to carry it forward in some way.” Ayurendi majored in double majors in Marketing, English Literature and Creative Writing with a minor in Design, inspired by Abloh’s architectural background.

Dacia Redmond, 20.
Photo: Courtesy of Theme

Dacia Redmond, who specializes in fashion marketing at Clark Atlanta University, almost didn’t take the opportunity to be a part of the program. But it was the middle of the pandemic, and she decided to apply. “I didn’t have anything else to do, so I went for it, and it’s pretty safe to say that this was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my college career.” Redmond went on to win one of 20 scholarships that year and was the first winner to attend the HBCU; She described the experience as “amazing”.

What was her experience with Abloh? “He’s been open and honest with us,” Redmond wrote. “I’ve seen him up close with augmenting Zoom calls and supporting his students in moments when they might have been upset. For the scientists, we felt like we carried a weight on Virgil.”

Hannah Harris, 21.
Photo: Courtesy of Theme

Hannah Harris, a first-year student at the Savannah College of Art and Design, likened her creative approach to Abhloh’s methods for navigating the industry. “I loved that his work shows the power of collaboration and community,” she said in an email. “It was an ambitious thing, and yet I could always see myself in it.” “He believed in the next generation, and we were all very eager to learn from him,” she added. Harris, a former dancer, recalls the Fall 2020 show featuring Cartier Williams in the “I Support Young Black Companies” shirt. “I have this shirt now, and every time I wear it, it always reminds me of something bigger than me.”

Peter Arnold, Executive Director of the Fashion Scholarship Fund, said the program will continue, drawing on Virgil’s “friends and collaborators who are committed to continuing the personal legacy he envisioned and built with tremendous determination and focus.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here