virgil abloh

If You're Not Paying Attention To Virgil Abloh Yet, You Should Start Immediately

Creative direction flowing right into our lives.

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As if the fact that he's a Wisconsin alum isn't reason enough to talk about him, there are so many dimensions to Virgil Abloh that are worth exploring. Most notably known as the artistic director of menswear at Louis Vuitton and in charge of his own, incredibly popular street-style line, Off-White, Abloh is an ongoing success story. In an interview with The New Yorker by Doreen St. Félix, we are exposed to the depths of his thought processes, experiences, and inspirations. As college students but also as people, there are a plethora of lessons we can extract from Abloh's creative direction as well as out-of-the-box thinking and apply it to our everyday approach to life.

The innovative logic from Abloh that can be directly attributed to his success is his approach to education. He chose to come to the University of Wisconsin-Madison (a great choice, in my opinion) and his mom wanted him to study civil engineering. However, in the interview with St. Félix, he said in response to his mother's wishes, "[b]ut I was, like, 'I don't want to be an engineer in the classic sense, and the only way to not do that is to do fifty percent engineering, fifty percent life.'" The way he went about his program for "doing life" was by making dinner with his roommate for people at school to come and eat and the two of them profited from this. Additionally, he would DJ at a bar in Madison while his roommate bartended at the same one, and they would come home with huge amounts of money from tips throughout the night. Early on, Abloh recognized that good grades and a degree title wasn't going to cut it in the professional world if he wanted to make it big, so he started early by developing a sort of hustle through jobs; establishing financial support alongside his education.

Following his time at Wisconsin, Abloh attended the Illinois Institute of Technology where he studied architecture. His application of architecture to the real world is truly brilliant. Abloh said, "[s]tudying architecture, to some people, is, like, "Oh, you build buildings." But to me, it's a way of thinking. It's a way of problem-solving with a rationale. And you can apply that rationale to building a building but also to scrambling eggs." This is an incredibly abstract way to perceive an architecture program. It's fair to think that some architects, or people for that matter, stay in the realm of buildings when considering architecture, and may not even be capable of seeing the relationship between architecture and scrambled eggs. But, for Abloh, that was his fundamental assessment of the program all in all. As college students, we should be thinking in a similar manner. It's the oldest tale in the book, I'm aware, but we have to think in a way that brings our education out of the classroom so that we can receive maximum benefits of our schooling. Unconventional and fresh is what I have to say to Abloh's architecture-scrambled egg theory.

Abloh's "three percent" plan is something else should be adopted into our habits. Abloh offers the idea that a whole new design could be created by editing an already created design by just three percent. This plan is how the quotation marks around words on his Off-White apparel was born, perhaps the most recognizable aspect of the brand. We may not have a line of apparel to alter by three percent, but we all definitely have qualities and tendencies that, if we changed for the better (just by three percent), we would be doing better in different facets of our lives.

Abloh also encourages people to be less contrived and authentic in the way they behave and especially in the way they consume fashion. The following is one of my favorite anecdotes that I've learned about Virgil Abloh. I don't know if it's because of the true NYC experiences that I've lived, for example, a childhood of admiring the endless Chinatown designer knockoffs that poured into the streets, but he wrote for a blog called The Brilliance in reference to Gucci T-shirts, "[t]he sad thing is, the $10 fakes are better, graphics wise, design proportion, and actually cotton t-shirt wise too. The expensive ones are too refined, there's nothin' hood about them." Granted, this was written before he reached all the success that he has now and became an icon in the high fashion world. But, if he's remained true to his original fashion interpretations, which is likely considering his creative direction, we can conclude (at least I hope) that he still appreciates the style-with-ease sense about something like a knockoff Gucci T.

The final thing we can learn from Virgil Abloh, no matter who we are or where we come from, is that he says constantly putting people in competition with each other is a "pitfall of human nature." There is no hidden meaning to this, no adjustment to the statement we have to do as non-designers to understand this. It just merely needs to be understood and acted on for the world to be a better place.

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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Goodbye School, Hello Real World

I'm ready for ya!

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It's starting to hit me.

I've been in school, year after year, since kindergarten. Maybe even pre-school!

Now, I'm about to graduate with my bachelors in communication and I couldn't be more proud of myself. I'll say it. I often sugarcoat it or suppress it but d*mn it. I'm going to applaud myself. It was hard work. It took a lot of motivation, determination, (caffeine), and willpower to get to where I am today. I worked my ass off.

That being said, I can't help but think... What is life without due dates? What is life like without scrambling to turn in an assignment that's due at 11:59 PM? What is life like with actual sleep? Sleep? I don't know her.

Like I keep telling my boyfriend and my parents, I don't have it all figured out. At least not right now. But I will, and I'm in no rush to land my dream job right now. If anything, I want to take a year to myself. I want to travel. I want to sleep in if I d*mn well please! I want to read as many books as I want. I want to write till my fingers fall off (OK, maybe not that).

You get the jist.

I'm free. I can do and be whatever I want. And you know what? That's terrifying.

I'm lost. I've followed this structure for so long. Now what?

I don't have all the answers yet. But for now, at least right at this very moment, I'm so thankful to have been able to receive such an amazing education. And to be able to say I'm graduating with my bachelors in communication at 21 is an accomplishment in itself.

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