Virgil Abloh Thinks Streetwear Can Be a Trap

Virgil Abloh used the term zigzag often during his appearance at WWD’s Apparel and Retail CEO Summit. It describes how he’s climbed the ladder in fashion to launch his own line, Off-White, and land the artistic director position at Louis Vuitton men’s. Streetwear was how he got his foot in the door — the zig — but once he got inside he’s pushed himself past the confines of “streetwear designer” — the zag.
So far, the element of surprise, along with balancing his many other creative jobs, is working and he’s not looking to disrupt the industry as much as he wants to evolve it. In a conversation with WWD’s editor in chief Miles Socha, Abloh spoke about the sustainability of streetwear, how he avoids clichés, and what younger customers are looking for that most luxury brands don’t offer.
WWD: You trained as an architect, so you are an outsider of sorts to fashion design. Has this helped you to break rules and what principles do you bring from architecture?
Virgil Abloh: I first studied civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and then architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology. But I would say my sort of education started well

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