Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech

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The essential volume on the great fashion designer, entrepreneur and Louis Vuitton artistic director, back in print

This authoritative Virgil Abloh compendium, created by the designer himself, accompanies his acclaimed landmark 2019-23 touring exhibition and offers in-depth analysis of his career and his inspirations. More than a catalog, Figures of Speech is a 500-page user's manual to Abloh's genre-bending work in art, fashion and design.
The first section features essays and an interview that examine Abloh's oeuvre through the lenses of contemporary art history, architecture, streetwear, high fashion and race, to provide insight into a prolific and impactful career that cuts across mediums, connecting visual artists, musicians, graphic designers, fashion designers, major brands and architects. The book also contains a massive archive of images culled from Abloh's personal files on major projects, revealing behind-the-scenes snapshots, prototypes, inspirations and more--accompanied by intimate commentary from the artist. Finally, a gorgeous full-color plate section offers a detailed view of Abloh's work across disciplines.
Virgil Abloh (1980-2021) was a fashion designer and entrepreneur, and the artistic director of Louis Vuitton's men's wear collection from 2018 to 2021. He was also CEO of the Milan-based label Off-White, a fashion house he founded in 2013. Born in Rockford, Illinois, to Ghanaian parents, he entered the world of fashion with an internship at Fendi in 2009 alongside rapper Kanye West. The two began an artistic collaboration that would launch Abloh's career with the founding of Off-White. Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2018.

For Abloh, the museum catalogue is another opportunity to question everything. This monograph, produced in close collaboration with the artist himself, explores his creative output in a three-books-in-one format. The catalogue section offers an overview of Abloh's interdisciplinary practice by Michael Darling and features essays and interviews with key voices in art, fashion, design, and architecture, including Taiye Selasi, Lou Stoppard, Michael Rock, Samir Bantal, Rem Koolhaas, and Anja Aronowsky Cronberg. In the archives section, more than 1,800 never-before-seen images pulled from the artist's personal files reveal the remarkable breadth of his influences and collaborations. And the index cross references the catalogue plates--Abloh's works--with his projects and process, using a vocabulary of themes developed by Abloh. It comes in a cloth slipcase with Personal Copy silkscreened on the book fore edge, a measuring tape ribbon marker, and a flexi disc printed with a Juergen Teller photo that includes a recording of Virgil Abloh discussing his inspirations. This book is designed with Swiss binding. When opened the front cover lays completely flat and is not attached to the front pages of the book. The binding also intentionally exposes the spine of the bound book and the raw boards used for the case (cover).