- 7 November 2022
- 1 minute
The selected Virgil Abloh scholar will study without financial constraints to push the boundaries of their practice, enabling them to fulfil their creative potential. This initiative aims to help break down barriers to education and support the next generation of visionary designers and innovators.
Alongside the educational funding, the student will benefit from industry experience and networking opportunities, and will be supported by British fashion designer Samuel Ross and fellow creative industries partners throughout their studies.
Virgil Abloh, who passed away in 2021, was an American fashion designer, artist, architect, engineer, creative director, DJ and entrepreneur. He was the artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear collection, the first African American to hold this position. He is also the Founder and CEO of Milan-based fashion house Off-White, and Alaska Alaska, his London studio staffed by young, multi-disciplinary creators, handpicked by Virgil himself.
Having joined as an Honorary Visiting Professor in 2020, Virgil held a close relationship with the RCA. He embodied the RCA’s spirit of collaboration and ingenuity, and hoped to enable students from across the College to benefit from his wealth of experience as a leading figure in international fashion and design. In the short time he was associated with the College, he made a significant impact on the RCA community. This scholarship aims to recognise Virgil’s support for education, his career-long ethos of using his practice to create social change and his position as a renowned champion for equality of opportunity across the creative industries.
The annual scholarship will apply to all areas of the RCA School of Design postgraduate study including Fashion, Textiles, Design Products, Service Design and Intelligent Mobility among other innovative courses. The RCA School of Design engages with design on multiple levels, from the highly conceptual to the deeply practical, with a strong culture of innovation, experimentation and debate.
The Virgil Abloh Scholarship has been established with the support of Shannon Abloh, the late designer's wife, and the team at the Fashion Scholarship Fund in the USA, thanks to a generous gift from an anonymous donor via RCA USA.
“Virgil’s creativity and generosity will continue to have an impact at the RCA through this remarkable scholarship. I continue to be inspired by Virgil and believe that his curiosity and entrepreneurialism will live on, inspiring generations of innovators to come.”RCA Chancellor
“Over the years, the RCA and Virgil formed a beautiful relationship based on a shared appreciation of collaboration, creative vision, and of course, education. We know that the RCA Virgil Abloh Scholarship will break down financial barriers to fulfilling creative potential and empower talented young individuals to dream even bigger.”CEO, Virgil Abloh Securities
“Virgil's energy and intention was truly something else. This amazing legacy will offer young black British designers an opportunity where, I have no doubt, they will feel his power and continue forth to inspire and create even more change.”Head of Programme, MA Fashion at the RCA
“Virgil Abloh’s drive has always been linked to bettering others, bettering society, and communicating an optimistic future with grace, a radical spirit and intellectual prowess that operates on a diagonal, through all facets of society. Without a doubt this philosophy will be expanded upon and continue to shift the behaviour of the creative industry & physical spaces, whilst bettering key communities Virgil dedicated much of his time to supporting.”Artist and Fashion Designer