Virgil Abloh, Kanye-collaborator and designer of fashion brand OFF-WHITE, wears many hats — designer, creative director, DJ — and all-around creative. His experience in the industry recently landed him as the creative director for Lil Uzi Vert’s debut album art and upcoming music video.
Abloh first came in contact with Lil Uzi Vert at a Philadelphia party he was DJing with a friend in 2013. Remembering a short, energetic performer going on before him while waiting to play his set, he spoke to The Fader of their relationship and his role in creating Uzi’s debut album art.
“Definitively this is the first time I met some kid and thought he’s going to be huge,” Abloh said of his first encounter with Lil Uzi. “Instantly we were friends.”
The 36-year-old revealed that he was recruited by Uzi as creative director of the final stages of his debut album cover art, and also directed a soon-to-come project for the rapper’s hit-single “XO TOUR Llif3.” “It was the second music video I ever shot. The first one being “Fashion Killer” with Rihanna and Rocky.”
“I pride myself in collaborating and being a creative director, and creative direction isn’t putting my opinion first. It’s supporting an artist so they get the most out of the project. I think it’s a lost art in a way.” Abloh was excited to take on the role, as he explains his desire to get back into directing, and the chemistry between the two being so fluid and magnetic.
“He believes in me and I believe in him and it’s us doing this crash of things that are in our own head,” Abloh told The Fader. “That OFF-WHITE tape is an additive to the content and it’s emblematic of just how we think without practical terms.”