As the founder of luxury brand Off-White and the men’s artistic director at Louis Vuitton, Virgil Abloh is always busy. That’s why his latest announcement—that he’s taking a period of rest—is rattling the fashion industry.
On Monday, the famed designer told Vogue he’s taking three months off from his hectic schedule to focus on his health and family. After noting symptoms of exhaustion following a trip overseas, doctors advised him to slow down and avoid travel—a challenge for the designer, who was scheduled for a number of public appearances, summits and exhibitions around the world, including Off-White’s Paris Fashion Week show on Sept. 26.
Abloh explained that “the shows will go on” without him thanks to his teams at both companies. In his absence, the Off-White show will feature participation from the crowd, which will promote engagement and add an element of creativity the brand has never tried before.
Named one of the most creative and forward-thinking leaders driving the global jeanswear industry in last year’s Rivet 50, Abloh is a fashion mastermind that meets at the intersection of luxury and streetwear. His collaborations with Kanye West, Ikea, Nike, Kith and others have established him as a designer that refuses to adhere to the standards set before him.
Earlier this year, Off-White topped Lyst’s hottest brands index, which noted the rise of Italian luxury megabrands and luxury streetwear labels. This fall, Abloh is scheduled to showcase his work at an exhibit at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.