May 14 Keynote Conversation

Virgil Abloh

Virgil Abloh is an architect-trained fashion designer and artist. His visionary brand Off-White has had a major impact on the fashion industry. On Thursday May 14, keynote host Roman Mars will interview Virgil about democratic design and intellectualizing the mundane.

Virgil Abloh


You may know Virgil Abloh as the current artistic director for Louis Vuitton’s menswear collections. Or for his much-anticipated Ikea collaboration, called MARKERAD, released through the brand’s international stores last November. Or for his 2019 “Figures of Speech” exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. And these are only a few highlights from his critically-acclaimed career.

Born in 1980, Virgil is an artist, creative director, and designer who was trained as an architect and engineer. After earning a degree in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin Madison, he received a master’s degree in architecture from Illinois Institute of Technology in a curriculum founded by Mies van der Rohe. It was here that he learned not only about modernist design principles but also about the concept of multidisciplinary working.

“I think what made Virgil interested in our work was this idea that architecture was not limited to its own field—that it could answer questions.” —Rem Koolhaas

He launched his brand Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh™️ in 2012 as an artwork titled “PYREX VISION.” In 2013, the brand premiered a seasonal men’s and women’s fashion label showing runway collections during Paris Fashion Week since 2015. Off-White is credited with “bulldozing” the brick wall between graphic tees and designer apparel and produced Nike’s ten most iconic shoes, among other accolades.

Virgil has presented at major design institutions around the globe, including Harvard Graduate School of Design, Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, and the Rhode Island School of Design, and has taught classes at the Architectural Association School in London.

In 2019, The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago featured his past and current work in a major exhibition.

Virgil has received numerous awards, most recently winning the British Fashion Awards Urban Luxe award and International Designer of the Year at the GQ Men of the Year Awards in 2017. In 2015, Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh™️ was a finalist of the LVMH Prize.

Event details
Don’t miss Virgil’s talk with Roman Mars about democratic design. Learn more >

Thursday, May 14, 5–6:30pm
Los Angeles Convention Center

Use program code GS100 to register >