Shannon Abloh, widow of the late Off-White founder and Louis Vuitton artistic director Virgil Abloh, has been appointed to the positions of CEO and Managing Director of her deceased husband’s firm, Virgil Abloh Securities. Prior to this, the 40-year-old native Chicagoan was a program manager for Monster.com and an account manager at Yahoo, Inc.
Per a statement released on Tuesday, the organization will “work in the disciplines and spheres of art, architecture, engineering, creative direction, artistic direction, industrial design, fashion design, music, film, writing and philanthropy.”
Shannon and Virgil Abloh were reportedly sweethearts since their adolescent years, both attending Boylan Catholic High School in Rockford, Illinois. The pair then went off to college together in the neighboring state of Wisconsin. Virgil enrolled at the University of Wisconsin to study civil engineering, while Shannon pursued her degree in management and marketing from Edgewood College.
After a decade of courtship, Virgil proposed to Shannon, and the two wed in 2009. “I was completely surprised — I couldn’t believe it!” she told Inside Wedding.
Virgil had always been known for being the more outspoken half, but his wife was a consistent support to the entrepreneur behind the scenes. However, her new functions at Virgil Abloh Securities now place her front and center. And her husband’s longtime staff will reportedly remain with the firm for the time being.
“One of the things I always admired about Virgil was his deep sense of compassion and care for others,” Shannon shared during a speech at the Fashion Scholarship Fund’s 85th Annual Awards last month in New York City. “He believed that being a leader meant serving others in need. And he felt a tremendous sense of purpose in opening doors for others.”
A little more than a year before his passing, Virgil Abloh joined the board of the FSF and established the Virgil Abloh “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund. Its objective is to “foster equity and inclusion within the fashion industry by providing scholarships to students of academic promise of Black, African-American, or African descent.”
Shannon spoke about why initiatives like the fund were so important to him at the awards gala.
“When he would say, ‘Everything legacy left behind I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself,’ he, of course, wasn’t talking about himself,” she said. He was talking about every young person who has ever dreamed of becoming something … but felt discouraged because they couldn’t see themselves represented in these industries… His dream [was] to establish an institution that would help to make fashion a more equal, more inclusive place.”
Mrs. Abloh now has the opportunity to see her husband’s vision through and carry on his legacy.