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virgil abloh is taking time off fashion on the advice of his doctor

He'll be skipping his Off-White show in Paris.

by Jenna Mahale
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10 September 2019, 1:14pm

Photography Mitchell Sams

Virgil Abloh is a notoriously busy man. Between being the founder of Off-White, the men’s artistic director for Louis Vuitton, and a DJ, among other creative identities, Abloh is constantly working and travelling around the world. But now, at the request of his doctor, the artist is planning to take a step back from public life.

Over the phone, he told Vogue that he was “shifting gears”, stating that his doctor had criticised his fast-paced, jet-setting lifestyle, but chose not to provide the exact details of his health condition. He explained a recent realisation he’d had about his work ethic in his earlier years: “In high school I always took pride in the award where you didn’t have any sick days. ‘Hey, seventh year in a row I’ve never been home sick!’”

Now, he’s more aware and respectful of his limits. “Being busy isn’t working,” he said. “But I’m using this as I do everything else, as a way to propel me forward.”

For the next three months, Abloh will be working from home and cancelling several public appearances, including the opening of his new exhibition at the High Museum in Atlanta this November and, perhaps more pertinently, the Off-White SS20 show in Paris coming up later this month -- but he has made preparations to mitigate this. “I designed it with this seeming hurdle in tow. There’s an element that replaces my attendance with crowd participation,” he teased in the Vogue interview.

The Chicago-based creative is confident that his brand won’t be impacted by the hiatus. “My Off-White team is equipped to handle this, and my Louis Vuitton team is expert-level. The shows will go on.”