Today Is Virgil Abloh Day In Rockford, IL

Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images

Today Is Virgil Abloh Day In Rockford, IL

Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images

Virgil Abloh — the founder of Off-White, the artistic director of menswear for Louis Vuitton, the former head of design for Kanye West’s Donda organization, and a source of inspiration for countless artists within the hip-hop sphere and beyond — died this week at age 41 after secretly battling a rare form of cancer for two years. There have been tributes from the likes of Kanye, Pharrell, Frank Ocean, Tyler, The Creator, and even Wisconsin native Justin Vernon, who said he was proud Abloh went to college in Madison. And now another Midwestern city where Abloh spent his youth has joined the chorus of praise.

Abloh’s hometown of Rockford, IL has declared today Virgil Abloh Day. Mayor Tom McNamara issued the proclamation at Coronado Performing Arts Center, where the marquee reads, “FOREVER IN YOUR HOMETOWN’S HEART” and “REST IN PEACE VIRGIL ABLOH.” As the Rock River Current reports, McNamara offered these comments on Abloh: “Every person you talk to, they’re just in awe of not just the designs and things of that nature, though that is really awe-inspiring. They’re really in awe of just the humanity and kindness that he lived everyday life with, and he never forgot where he came from and always gave back.” McNamara said the city will hold a larger event in Abloh’s honor when his family is ready.

Also present at today’s event were Rep. Maurice West II and Amy Ott, president of Boylan Catholic High School, from which Abloh graduated in 1998. “Few people have had such a cultural influence on the lives of young people as Virgil Abloh,” Ott said. “Our community has been in constant awe of what Virgil has accomplished and the countless ways he has pushed boundaries and broken down barriers.” In remarks of his own, West marveled at Abloh’s rapid leap “from an intern to a legend within 10 years.”

Watch footage from today’s event below.

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