A Rockford native is making a name for himself in the fashion industry. Monday, Louis Vuitton named Virgil Abloh, the Artisitic Director for the company’s menswear line, but before his success, Abloh was a student at Boylan Catholic High School. Those who knew him say there were signs of future success.
“When I first heard about this, I thought, what a great thing to happen to him,” said Former Soccer Coach Gerry Davies. “It’s not really surprising, that he’s made it this big,” said close friend Marko Culich. Rockford native Virgil Abloh has been the talk of the town since being named Artistic Director for Louis Vuitton’s menswear. He is the first African-American ever to be named for that position.
“Well deserved, he was very quiet shy, unassuming young man,” said Davies. “Obviously, he has a flare for design and deserves where he’s going”
Before high fashion, Abloh was a Student at Boylan Catholic High School, where he played soccer. Coaches who knew him say he was a natural at that, too.
“He was very tall long legs, very tall, he always moved around the field quickly because of his long legs,” said Davies, who coached boys soccer at Boylan for years. He recalls watching Abloh on the field, and thinking he was every coach’s dream. “I always remembered him as being very prepared to listen to advice. He was easy to coach, I remember coaches pulling him off telling him what to do, and he would do exactly as they said.”
In the classroom, faculty and friends say Abloh was studious, and showed signs of future success.
“He was a very quiet, humble individual, hard-working, team player,” said Boylan Principal Chris Rozanski. “I’m sure a lot of characteristics have led him to part of his success now.”
“He has such an uncanny ability to establish and making relationships with all types of people and everybody always loved him,” said Culich. “He was such an amiable guy, easy to get along with he was very humble and very smart, one of the top acheivers academically.” Culich and Abloh were close friends throughout high school and college, both attending University of Wisconsin – Madison. Even then, Culich says he had the eye for fashion. “I remember at the end of college when he got to engineering school, he was never a big lavish spender, except for clothes,” said Culich. “He would spend a lot of money on certain articles of clothing things you would see in publications that he is now featured in.”
It is worth noting that Abloh’s mother is a seamstress, Culich says it’s not out of the possibility that his mother may have had an influence on him.