It was with profound sadness that the creative world learnt of the passing of Virgil Abloh at age 41 on Sunday 28 November 2021, after a private battle with cancer. Abloh achieved an astonishing amount in the short time during which he transcended the worlds of art, fashion, design and music, flitting with ease between the spheres of niche and commercial creativity, nightclubs and design studios, and inspiring a new generation of young creatives to dream that anything – be it being handed the keys to a French heritage house Louis Vuitton or collaborating with artists such as Takashi Murakami – is possible. 

Wallpaper* worked with Abloh on a variety of projects. We were lucky to preview Project Geländewagen, his boundary-pushing collaboration with Mercedes-Benz in our September 2020 Style Special issue, which reinterpreted the German brand’s classic G-Class SUV series. For the same issue, we invited Abloh to take over our front cover. In the most groundbreaking interpretation of our limited-edition subscriber cover yet, he created an understated, tactile and radical design, which saw a scissor graphic invite the reader to cut the magazine in half. As an added element of Abloh’s Wallpaper* cover takeover, he personally cut and autographed 184 copies of the magazine, titling this 2 for the Price of 1

Here we take a look back at the innovative mark Abloh made in the pages of Wallpaper*.

Virgil Abloh as seen in Wallpaper*

Virgil Abloh photographed on Pont Neuf in Paris

Virgil Abloh portrait with chair

Virgil Abloh in 2019, on the Pont Neuf, Paris, with his Mies Van Der Rohe-inspired metal mesh ‘Color Gradient Chair’ (2018). Photographed for the June 2019 issue of Wallpaper* by Marvin Leuvrey. Read the article

 

S/S 2019 Louis Vuitton menswear

S/S 2019 Louis Vuitton menswear
Virgil Abloh’s debut S/S 2019 show for Louis Vuitton as men’s artistic director. Photography: Jason Lloyd Evans

Off-White homeware on graphic tablecloth

Off-White wins Best Homeware: Wallpaper* Design Awards 2021. ‘The artisanal elements within the ceramic pieces are inspired by wabi-sabi,’ said Abloh. ‘What is perfect is questioned.’

Off-White S/S 2020

Off-White S/S 2020. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans

Portrait of Gorden Wagener (left), chief design officer of Mercedes-Benz, and Virgil Abloh (right), with work in progress of Project Gelandewagen

Close-up preview of Project Geländewagen car
Above, our photograph previewed the Project Geländewagen collaboration, which reinterprets the Mercedes-Benz G-Class as a work of art. Luxury is expressed partly through a ‘filler grey’ finish, sanded in patches to highlight the layers of labour. Photography: Frederic Seemann. Top, Gorden Wagener, chief design officer of Mercedes-Benz, with Virgil Abloh, and a glimpse of Project Geländewagen. Photography: Bafic, courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Limited edition cover design by Virgil Abloh for Wallpaper* September 2020 issue

Cut in half issue of Wallpaper* September 2020 issue with cover design by Virgil Abloh

Virgil Abloh invites readers to cut along the dotted line for his limited-edition cover design for our September 2020 issue, a nod to the physicality and tactility of the printed magazine. A series of 184 special edition covers were also personally cut by Abloh – along the dotted line and scissors graphic that bisects his cover design – and signed on the back.

Off-White Home collection, interiors shot

‘Taking the familiar and making it new’. That was the drawing board manifesto for Virgil Abloh’s new Off-White Home collection, which debuted in December 2020. Photography: Metz + Racine
Models wear Off-White S/S 2020
Off-White S/S 2020. Photography: Jason Lloyd Evans

Models wear Louis Vuitton A/W 2020 menswear
Louis Vuitton A/W 2020. Photography: Jason Lloyd Evans

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