Virgil Abloh takes 'bleisure' very seriously.

By Siobhan Reid
October 11, 2018
Virgil Abloh x Rimowa
Credit: Courtesy of Rimowa

Despite traveling more than 310 days a year, Virgil Abloh, the artistic director of Louis Vuitton and founder of streetwear label Off-White, claims he “doesn't know how to vacation.”

“I travel for pleasure about 1% of the time,” the Chicago-based designer told Travel + Leisure. “Travel informs what I do and inspiration is everywhere, so I’m always working.”

Given his unique perspective on travel and disruptive approach to fashion, it’s no wonder that Abloh was one of five “cultural icons” to be featured in luggage brand Rimowa's 120th anniversary campaign. Tennis champion Roger Federer, model-activist Adwoa Aboah, chef Nobu Matsushisa, and jewelry designer Yoon Ahn also appeared in the campaign.

“As a designer, I’m very particular about the design of a thing, and Rimowa is a product I’ve used and relied on for 10 years,” said Abloh.

As to what goes inside his Rimowa carry-on: A hoodie, Pilot Pen, blank pieces of paper, and a fully charged iPhone (“When I’m flying, I’m either sketching or working on my phone.”)

And while the multi-versed designer regularly frequents high-fashion cities like New York City, Milan, Paris and Stockholm, he is most inspired by the fashions he sees at — wait for it — the airport.

“When I’m in a city, I’m in an office, but when I’m at the airport, I’m around real people just doing their thing.”

Outside the airport, Abloh says he likes hotels that don’t feel like hotels, like Ett Hem in Stockholm and Andre Balazs’s properties, which include the Chiltern Firehouse in London and the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles.

But Abloh says he’s most looking forward to exploring beyond the cities on the global fashion circuit.

“I travel so much that I’m generally past the point of wanting to visit specific places — except when it comes to Southeast Asia and New Zealand,” he said. “I’ve seen photos and I really want to go."