Virgil Abloh creates $1 million scholarship fund for Black creatives

The Chicago-native said that he hopes to start by putting '100 kids, Black kids, through a wide spectrum of educational institutions'

US designer Virgil Abloh acknowledges the audience at the end of the Off/White Menswear Fall/Winter 2018-2019 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 17, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)

The Virgil Abloh “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund has been initially endowed with $1 million through contributions by Evian, Abloh’s partners at Louis Vuitton, and New Guards Group-a fashion conglomerate of which his brand, Off-White, is a member. Abloh has also contributed his own money.  

READ MORE: Louis Vuitton’s Virgil Abloh accused of stealing design for Pop Smoke cover

According to Vogue, Abloh’s fund will be operated in partnership with the Fashion Scholarship Fund which has created opportunities for young fashion creatives since 1937. 

The Chicago-native said that he hopes to start by putting “100 kids, Black kids, through a wide spectrum of educational institutions.” 

He has said that he hopes the fund will create a stream of trained Black creatives for the fashion and design industry. 

WSJ. Magazine 2018 Innovator Awards Sponsored By Harry Winston, FlexJet & Barneys New York - Inside
Virgil Abloh speaks on stage at the WSJ. Magazine 2018 Innovator Awards Sponsored By Harry Winston, FlexJet

“A benefit of this uprising is that we are paying attention to systemic problems … we can’t move on.” Abloh said, “It’s time for us not to make this industry about fashion, but about people … And I’ve been pouring that into my own work. I’m looking at this as a call to action for me to take on more challenges that don’t only end up on the runway, but that end up changing people’s lives.”

Abloh is the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s men’s wear collection. He is also the chief executive officer of his own luxury brand, Off-White. 

READ MORE: Chadwick Boseman debuts Virgil Abloh look from Louis Vuitton collection

Trained as an architect, Abloh began his career with a collaboration with Kanye West. He ultimately broke from West, founding his own label. At the beginning of the pandemic, Abloh courted controversy when he made a $50 contribution to a Miami-based art collective that was raising money to bail protesters out of jail. The contribution caused a backlash, especially because Abloh had previously denounced the looting of businesses. 

In a subsequent Instagram post that has since been deleted, Abloh has stated that he had donated more than $20,000 to bail programs and that he would continue to use his voice and urge his peers to do the same. 

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s new podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

Share: