virgil abloh montreal

Virgil Abloh had a rich history with Montreal

From an SSENSE exhibition to clothing collaborations to getting involved in local nightlife, Abloh had an affinity for this city.

On Sunday, the world suffered a tremendous loss with the death of fashion visionary Virgil Abloh. The Off-White founder and Louis Vuitton creative director lost his life at age 41 after a battle with cancer, something he withheld from the public. Throughout his life and times, Virgil Abloh had many meaningful moments connecting him to Montreal. Here are a few of his notable times in the city.

Been Trill’s Off the Hook collaboration

During Kanye West’s Yeezus tour in 2014, Abloh’s Been Trill line hosted several afterparties and designed exclusive merch to coincide with the events. Ahead of the Montreal date, Been Trill collaborated with local streetwear shop Off the Hook on an exclusive merch drop.

virgil abloh been trill off the hook
Been Trill created a Canadiens-inspired long sleeve for their Off the Hook collab.

The hockey jersey-inspired long sleeves gave Quebec’s fleur-de-lis an anarchistic feel. The city’s two area codes, 514 and 438 could be found on the sleeves.

His DJing career blossomed in Montreal

Aside from fashion endeavours, Abloh often made his way to Montreal to bring his DJing talents to clubs across the city. Apart from the aformentioned 2014 Been Trill party at le Belmont, he played some of the hottest clubs across the city, including Sousbois, Apt. 200 and École Privée.

École Privée Virgil Abloh Montreal Saintwoods
École Privée welcomed Virgil Abloh on several occasions. Photo via Saintwoods

He recreated his studio for an SSENSE installation

In 2018, a number of sweaty teen boys flocked to SSENSE with hopes of witnessing the ever-influential Abloh. Attendees had the opportunity to be flies on the wall to a day in the life, with the artist reimagining his home studio for an installation at the Montreal fashion hub. You can read a recent retrospective recap on the experience from SSENSE editor Olivia Whittick here.

Virgil Abloh: Artist in Residence | SSENSE
Virgil Abloh, posted up at SSENSE Montreal.

A Montreal rapper soundtracked a Louis Vuitton commercial

Abloh was one of the earlier supporters of Cult MTL November 2021 cover star Skiifall. After sharing his “Ting Tun Up” single on an Instagram story, Abloh took his admiration for the rapper to the next level by choosing Skiifall’s music to accompany the unveiling of a Louis Vuitton x NBA collaboration.

“Lost Angeles” by Skiifall was the soundtrack to a Louis Vuitton x NBA collaboration.

The single, “Lost Angeles,” was unreleased at the time. It later appeared as the second track on the rapper’s debut EP, WOIIYOIE TAPES Vol. 1.

Montreal will miss you, Virgil. Thanks for the inspiration. RIP

For more style coverage, please visit the Style section.