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The Oral History of Virgil Abloh’s PYREX VISION

How an impromptu pizza party soundtracked by Joy Division shattered fashion house ceilings and shifted streetwear margins.

Ten years ago, Virgil Abloh thumbed the cracked screen of an iPhone and pressed share.

Uploaded to his followers interested in architecture, skateboarding, and graphic design came a bold block of black and white striping announcing OFF-WHITE: an Italian fashion label founded by the son of Ghanaian immigrant parents.

From Milan to the Mercer, Chicago to Shanghai, the Illinois native who went from studying at Wisconsin to touring the world with Kanye West formally founded his first solo art project of scale. In less than a decade, OFF-WHITE would acquire the creative keys from Nike and a 60% ownership stake from LVMH.

But years before billion-dollar behemoths elected Abloh as auteur, the Midwest kid was piecing together a clothing collection that would ultimately become OFF-WHITE. It was a side hustle bubbling behind the scenes of his day job of art-directing albums for A$AP Rocky and John Legend.

One Abloh seemingly had no time for but had to make time for before time ran out. After all, the world was supposed to end.

See, on Dec. 12, 2012, the Mayan calendar came to a close, making philosophers and scientists alike ponder if armageddon was upon us all.

Undeterred, Abloh made another upload in the hours ahead of the would-be rapture: a Vimeo video titled: ‘A TEAM WITH NO SPORT.’

The Joy Division soundtracked short featured members of the A$AP Mob modeling screen-printed shirts, shorts, and hoodies in a vacant studio apartment. The visual publicly presented PYREX VISION, the precursor to OFF-WHITE, inspired equal parts by Pusha T, Michael Jordan, and Michelangelo.

Featuring flannels fashioned as jerseys and live spray painting by street artist Jim Joe, the showcase just short of six minutes previewed an apparel proposition that would invert a trillion-dollar industry in years to come.

Perhaps the world was coming to an end.

Speaking to contemporaries of the late visionary who were around for the unlikely uprising, Boardroom offers an oral history of PYREX VISION: the project that propelled Virgil Abloh to creative director at Louis Vuitton and solidified streetwear as gallery art.

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The Muse

In 2009, Virgil Abloh and his runway dreams were on their way to reality.

Fresh off merch design for the Glow in the Dark Tour, Virgil would return to the road for that fall’s Fame Kills Tour. Pairing Ye with Lady Gaga, the two most fashion-forward icons in modern music would perform hits on a massive Matthew M. Williams-designed set, shaped like a catwalk.

Before the first stop, West would take another stage.

“Yo, Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’mma let you finish,” West said at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. “But Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time!”

While no lies were told, the damage was done. The Fame Kills Tour was canceled.

Upon recommendation from Mos Def, West left the country with Abloh by his side. Instead of circling the country on a catwalk, Abloh and West would intern at Fendi for a reported $500 a month.

From fetching cappuccinos to pitching leather jogger pants, the sonic sabbatical in Rome created connections in the industry and an inside look at how it moved. More importantly, it ignited Abloh’s ability in Photoshop and West’s desire to rap.

The latter led the two to Honolulu: an island where West would work away at bars while Abloh ideated around fonts.

Pusha T (Robb Report of the Snort, 1/2 of The Clipse): My first encounters around Virgil were surrounding Hawaii while working on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Virgil was very quiet, often on a laptop off to the corner.

He was this guy that Kanye seemed very interested in what was on his laptop. We could be in the middle of verses or trying to crack the code on a beat, but he would always stop to see what Virgil had going on on his laptop.

via Outlander

Virgil was the one who could break the flow of the music with whatever was going on with his laptop. I noticed that quickly.

You would get a glimpse of [Virgil’s laptop] and it could be a hoody, a desk, a table, or architecture.

It was so many different things that were inspiration or things that I felt he was downloading for himself and for Ye to be inspired by.

In one of the breaks, Virgil expressed to me, ‘Man, you don’t know what your music has done for me.’

Don C (Designer & former Ye manager): The name of Virgil’s line? That was inspired by a Pusha line.

‘Pyrex stirs turn into Cavalli furs?’ You know what I’m saying? He’s always been about mixing street culture, blending it with high fashion, blending it with music.

Pusha T: He was a fan of Hell Hath No Fury and was very open in speaking about Clipse music to me.

I remember it from the laptop, like the actual word and font on the screen. He was like, ‘Yo, check this out. PYREX VISION? Understand, this comes from you.’

The Tumblr

In Dec. 2010, Virgil Abloh launched the PYREX VISION Tumblr page, just weeks after My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was released to rave reviews.

Sonically, it was considered West’s best work yet while visually the album’s praised art direction was handled by Abloh.

Pusha T: From me initially meeting him in Hawaii to all of the different inspirational pieces – fashion, architecture, sneakers, anything – it was during this time that Virgil developed this very DIY attitude. It would go from a point of inspiration to trying to get something executed.

We’d be waiting around because we couldn’t get our hands on a piece, and Virgil would take it into his own hands like, ‘Don’t worry about it, I got it.’

It was like, ‘Listen, I’m gonna start this and do it just like this.’ It happened right in front of us.

Already having equity in the apparel space due to RSVP Gallery and The Brilliance blog, PYREX VISION was a mood board of ideas and musings, highlighting streetwear pieces and runway fashion.

A photo of The Great Sphinx sat aside a picture of Hollywood Holt, positioning a rising artist from Chicago next to Egyptian elegance.

via nss magazine

Benjamin Gott (Friend): The Tumblr came a bit later, it was called ‘So Baroque.’ He eventually switched over to PYREX VISION. He was hanging onto it, not really sure how he was going to explain it.

When he launched the video? We think about things in the realm of references. I can honestly say I don’t think he had a reference.

The Shoot

Over the next two years, the Tumblr page took a life of its own.

From detailing Abloh’s work on the road with West and Jay-Z as part of the Watch the Throne tour to spotlighting street-level events back home, the page positioned Abloh as everywhere at once, posting Tom Ford quotes and Treated snapbacks in the same breath.

Soon, shots of shirts with ‘PYREX’ printed along the back began appearing on the page.

In a matter of months, the sample shirts would make the rounds from URL to IRL.

At the same time, Virgil was running the DONDA studio space in NYC.

Benjamin Gott: He was always hanging out in New York. He was well-versed in the city and had friends there. New York is, for a lot of people, the cultural center of the world.

Kanye was there all the time, the whole Mercer crew thing was happening, and the A$AP guys were starting to find their legs.

A$AP Illz (Model, Designer, Founding member of the A$AP Mob): I got a call from Bari and Nast. They were like, ‘Come down to this DONDA space with Virgil. He’s trying to do something real quick.’ We didn’t know what it was, but Virgil had just got this new spot.

Benjamin Gott: It was a very simple office. It was loosely organized and it served as a physical landing space. It was downtown, if I remember correctly.

A$AP Illz: He’d started messing with us because of Chicago and RSVP Gallery. We had been messing with him since our first tour. We had the coach jackets and t-shirts for the tour.

Benjamin Gott: Everything was kind of the same feeling and out of nowhere PYREX comes out like, ‘What the hell is this?’ Even the color palette he used was totally unexpected. He shocked everybody and per usual had impeccable timing.

A$AP Illz: Virgil had this concept about sports and being a team, so every outfit we changed was about being different teams with the colors: red, blue, black, it was all a team.

Benjamin Gott: It felt incredibly obtuse in the best way possible. It was very confusing and I think streetwear is the place to be confusing.

I think that’s why Virgil has called streetwear an art movement because art is often confusing and jarring. It’s so difficult to encapsulate, it’s like trying to describe a really great painting.

A$AP Illz: PYREX was a free job, it wasn’t something I was paid for, it was just straight art. Pure art. I wasn’t tripping because I was starting to build my resume, so I ended up doing it and going down there.

We had some pizza, kicked it with Virgil, there was skateboarding around the office, and then Jim Joe comes. I didn’t even know at that time it was Jim Joe. He was the one tagging in the background.

Benjamin Gott: It was an art project. When you look at the video he did with Jim Joe, it’s lovely to see it in museums now. When I first I saw it in a museum, I remember thinking, ‘This is where it should’ve been the whole time.’ That was his first truly personal expression project.

Since the shoot, behind-the-scenes footage showcases the models moving around the set to “Bubble Music” by Cam’ron.

Instead, the actual campaign features “Heart & Soul” by English rock band Joy Division.

Benjamin Gott: The music didn’t make sense. No one was listening to that music, now it’s totally normal to listen to more avant-garde style music. It felt so new, yet it was attached to this compelling person in Virgil, who at the time, was starting to find his ascendancy.

That’s an allegory itself: defining the grey area. Contrast was such a huge thing of his. You could listen to Joy Division and Cam’ron in the same room, the same time, back to back, and it didn’t feel incohesive.

The song was out of nowhere, Jim Joe was barely emerging and not part of the zeitgeist like he is now, and the A$AP guys were not super recognizable yet. There was no reference. I think Virgil had an idea that popped into his head and he just executed.

A$AP Illz: We were just hanging out. We created art by hanging out.

Benjamin Gott: He talked about the domino effect, ‘Just do the thing.’ This was an example of that. I don’t think anyone realized just how cohesive it would be.

Most people screen print a t-shirt and maybe a model wears it. But he made a short film. A short, visual poem that still stands the test of time.

A$AP Illz: I believe he gave us some hoodies. They were samples, there wasn’t too much out there yet.

The Chi

On Dec. 12, 2012 – the same day the world was supposed to end – Virgil Abloh was introducing the world at large to PYREX VISION from his NYC studio space.

Back home, that same vision and those same samples had been circulating for months.

Vic Lloyd (DJ & Designer): It was a moment in Chicago. When the tonal photoshoots dropped? Everybody was like, ‘That’s crazy!’

It was like, ‘Let’s put this idea and see what happens.’ I don’t think it was this long, planned-out thing. I think it was more like, ‘This will be cool.’

Benjamin Gott: There’s a special thing about Chicago where we’re not exposed to everything every single day like New York where culture is happening when you walk down the street.

Chicago’s not a snooze fest, but it’s not as intense as New York. If you’re a curious person, it boosts your curiosity because you’re perpetually looking over the fence at Paris or LA. It trains you to hone your curiosity.

Upscale Vandal (Fashion & Marketing Consultant): I’m an insider, I was wearing PYREX before that campaign came out. The first run? He actually didn’t sell any of the shirts, he was giving them away.

Vic Lloyd: Here? All the people that were supposed to have it had it. You had to know somebody because some of the first stuff you could only have it if you were gifted it.

Don C: All the movements start here in Chicago. The PYREX movement started here in Chicago.

Upscale Vandal: Instagram was brand new and Chicago was feeding me information and access. One of my boys there had a whole gang of PYREX shirts, the first run of all the colors. I was like, ‘I need those in New York.’ He said, ‘Just send me $200 and I’ll send you a couple.’

He sent me three shirts and they weren’t even my size, so I took a picture and flipped them. This dope boy I knew had seen somebody wearing it, wanted one and gave me $200 for each shirt.

I ended up buying another two from him which ended up being my first PYREX shirts.

Benjamin Gott: There’s another shirt from the party Superfun. The RSVP crew had a party at the James Hotel in Chicago. There was a shirt that had a woman’s face on the front. It had the design sensibility of PYREX VISION, but it was not PYREX VISION.

The V shirt was at RSVP Gallery. You could just go up to the counter and buy them. It had 23 on the back.

Vic Lloyd: Mike is a part of the Chicago DNA. Twenty-three and 45 are numbers that we own here in Chicago. Virgil putting that number on the hoody was the Chicago badge of honor. It carried that Mike DNA and instantly gave you something else you could wear with your Jordans.

Don C: He was inspired by the Bulls in so much of his work. 

Vic Lloyd: I knew Virgil didn’t make a lot of that stuff, so he made sure he took care of everybody in Chicago with a gift pack. It was instant. Everybody wanted them PYREX shorts. People wanted to wear them in the summer and to hoop in!

Benjamin Gott: He did the knit sock, the shorts, the t-shirts, the hoody, and the flannel print on the RL stuff.

The Flannel

In the months following flow product sent around Chicago and the weeks after “A TEAM WITH NO SPORT” went live on Vimeo, PYREX VISION went viral thanks to the launch of a $550 flannel.

Taking traditional flannel shirts made by Ralph Lauren’s defunct Rugby line and screen-printing ‘PYREX 23’ on the back, the piece was both a status symbol and a subject of investigative journalism. Back home and online, it was an early case study on DIY ethos and positioning.

Vic Lloyd: Chicago had a Rugby store. We all were going to buy those flannels because everything went on sale for like 70% off. That store closed ten years ago and the flannels Virgil used were the Rugby flannels.

Benjamin Gott: He was always a Ralph Lauren guy. We were always referencing Ralph or wearing Ralph. One of his first posts on The Brilliance was about the Ralph Lauren restaurant here in Chicago.

photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Vic Lloyd: I can honestly say he might’ve made 30 flannels. That was more so a statement piece.

You’ve got a Ralph flannel? I’ll print on it. It could’ve been that type of thing.

Upscale Vandal: PYREX was the antithesis of snooty high fashion. It was high fashion, made in a basement, with printables that you know how much I paid for them.

But it’s so lit, it’s so rare, it’s so hard to get, and it’s worn by so many of the people that you fuck with that either you pay this much or you don’t.

Vic Lloyd: It empowered a lot of younger designers to go do it and understand the power of printables.

A lot of the OG streetwear brands had transitioned to cut-and-sew, but this inspired the next wave to take their designs and put them out.

It expanded the idea of what you could print on because for so long people just thought t-shirts and hoodies.

Mamadou Bah (Owner & Creative Director of C’est Bon): My intro was the campaign they shot in the gallery space. I was into clothing at the time, but I didn’t know the process of getting a brand off the ground.

That was my segue into learning to start a business in a way. It was learning on the go. You’d wonder, ‘Who designed that?’ You do the research and find out it’s this kid from Chicago.

Vic Lloyd: With that flannel and the basketball shorts? You could give your printable brand an elevation whether it was shorts, a Dickie’s jacket, or vintage jeans. It gave people another outlet and lane.

You might not have been able to go to the prices that he did, but it made people start thinking about the $40, $50 or $60 t-shirt as far as a printable went. It got more people comfortable with that price point.

Mamadou Bah: At that time the price points did not make sense to me. Like, ‘Yo, why are you selling a Rugby at $700?!’ But now looking back at it? It makes sense because you see the progression that it led to.

Pusha T: It is supposed to be aspirational. It’s crazy, because when I think about his price point at that particular time and whatever people had to say about it? It just took me back to the time when I was buying Snow Beach Polo fleeces that were $350. I’d put it on and wear it every day.

It was a hard-earned $350 but you knew the USA fleece was coming out next week. You found your way to doing it and it made you appreciate and love the clothes that much more.

Those rap moments, the video moments, and the magazine moments all shaped me. Yo! MTV Raps was teaching me how to dress. Without those historic moments, album covers, and videos it’s no telling where we would be.

Upscale Vandal: This is the shit to be wearing and that attitude carried over into all of our brands. Just Don is a $500 hat with snakeskin on it! You either buy it or you don’t. I don’t give a fuck because this is the only shit that’s moving right now that people care about.

You couldn’t go anywhere for two years without seeing someone with snakeskin on their hat.

The Wave

Throughout 2012 and 2013, PYREX VISION went from ‘if you know, you know’ to ‘if you don’t know, why don’t you?’

From A$AP Rocky to Rita Ora, Kim Kardashian to Jay-Z, the biggest stars in the world were wearing Virgil Abloh’s art project with the same reverence they had for Balmain and Givenchy.

While status symbol association added to the intrigue, it was underground energy from the cultural touchpoints of the streets and the art that made it all pop.

Chase B (DJ, Producer, AUX MONEY host): I was broke as hell in New York. Me and Virgil would do all these warehouse parties in the deepest dungeons of SoHo. You met the coolest people. That’s where I met [A$AP] Yams, Bari, that whole scene was in New York.

We would run around Fashion Week and it was really organic and genuine. We were all depending on each other to push our personal brands forward, and Virgil was the ringleader of all that.

Music drove all those brands and sold PYREX to the streets.

Mamadou Bah: Kanye performing it in? Rocky and the Mob wearing it out for their shows? At that point, you mostly looked at the musicians.

photo by Prince Williams/Getty Images

Chase B: It was a music-driven thing. The hoody with the Roman art? That’s really what PYREX was for me.

Benjamin Gott: Caravaggio was kind of art’s bad boy at the time which is an understatement, I think he was accused of murder. If you look at his paintings, there’s emotion in them, romance, violence, all wrapped up in that.

I think Virgil had a deeper understanding of the fine arts, especially the Old Masters. He really enjoyed the juxtaposition of taking an old master and applying it to streetwear.

I believe all of those pieces of art are Creative Commons so you can use them without needing any copyright clearance. ClipArt is very Internet and Virgil is very Internet. At the time he was very into baroque.

Chase B: I didn’t really know what was going on, these pieces were just in the streets. There weren’t really releases, these things would just appear in boxes. I didn’t realize it was such a huge thing because it was just us wearing Virgil’s clothes.

A$AP Illz: It shows you how much it’s spreading, it’s like a starter kit now. People just know how to dress now. Even if it’s behind it’s still fire because it’s the blueprint that we set out there.

Benjamin Gott: People were starting to wear Air Forces again for the first time.

That’s exactly what it was: uncool. We were supposed to be wearing Rick Owens, we were supposed to be wearing black. The idea of wearing a baby blue or a red hoody? It’s so funny to think that now because now there’s no rules and I think that’s great.

It’s so iconic now that it’s almost hard to remember what it felt like when it was new.

A$AP Illz: PYREX VISION was one of the first brands besides Stüssy that really kicked it off for me. We made that brand go stupid.

Pusha T: Hip-hop? The whole culture of it from fashion to sneakers and everything, it’s really about coming outside and having the energy of, ‘Oh you ain’t got these! I could get this first!’ It makes it competitive.

It makes you aspire to have something or get the next best thing that’s hotter.

Vic Lloyd: From there, every artist made their merch more like a brand.

The Rebrand

In a matter of months, PYREX VISION had gone from DIY art project to the preferred brand of A-listers.

Appearing on stage at arena tours and on television shows watched by millions, the word on PYREX VISION quickly traveled beyond pop culture.

At the peak of its momentum, the man who was shattering fashion’s glass ceiling was suddenly catching heat from a glass company.

Pusha T: I remember him telling me, ‘Pyrex is giving us a hard time!’

Upscale Vandal: Why would Pyrex ever come for Virgil if they never made apparel? He’s making your brand iconic in a way you could never. Pyrex cookware would never make a fraction of the noise on the planet.

Ninety percent of the people who wore PYREX and support don’t even know the origin. Street motherfuckers know what Pyrex was because that’s what they cooked crack in.

A$AP Illz: A$AP Twelvvy gave Virgil an assist. He was going to get sued by Pyrex, the glass makers, so he changed it to OFF-WHITE because Twelvvy was like, ‘What’s the color of coke? It’s off-white.’

That’s how OFF-WHITE became OFF-WHITE, because of A$AP Twelvvy.

Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT/AFP

Pusha T: When the name changed and it was solidified that it was OFF-WHITE? He was like, ‘Man, I had to keep it in the same vein. This is what it is, this is built off of this.’

I was honored by the fact that he could translate something in the street culture that’s a bit frowned upon when talking about so blatantly, but he could translate it in a fashion world and so many people flung to it.

He artistically made it beautiful. Maybe people weren’t familiar with the drug culture in such a sense, but he made it digestible and made them understand.

Upscale Vandal: That’s what PYREX was. Y’all wanna play me? I’ll turn PYREX into OFF-WHITE and go ten times harder. Same design language, same narrative.

The killing of corporate fashion was in those two to three years. Virgil was our sherpa. The more shit he got away with and the more shit he tried and did? The more we felt like thanks for breaking that wall down and then we would break walls down.


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The Last Show

After announcing OFF-WHITE in Dec. 2013, life moved at the speed of light for Virgil Abloh and all in his orbit.

By Jan. 2016, he was presenting in Paris. By Mar. 2018, he was appointed Men’s Collections Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton.

In Nov. 2021, Virgil Abloh tragically passed away from a rare form of cancer. While working on his last show for Louis Vuitton, he reached out to his original PYREX VISION muse to score the soundtrack.

Pusha T: We were on our way back from Turks and Caicos. As we were landing, the e-mails and things started coming through about Virgil. At the very same time, like 15 minutes after that, the formal request from Virg to whoever was the music director at LV to our guys to be like, ‘Hey, can y’all help us get this clearance? Because this has to be in the show.’

So as I’m finding out about his death, we also got the clearance request from him that this has to happen.

It all came at the same time. It was so spooky. Chills, bro. This is all at the same time. Everybody on the plane cried. Crying to hear about Virg and then it was the request: “Mama I’m So Sorry” and “Mr. Me Too.” This is what this guy’s thinking? Because we didn’t necessarily know what state he was in or anything of that magnitude.

I always looked at it like he was making these requests up to his death. ‘I need this.’ You’re going through what you’re going through, and you found the way to articulate that you needed this?

I’m sure he wouldn’t change a thing about his path to get to where he got to. It’s ironic, but it’s a beautiful travel.

The Legacy

In Jul. 2021, LVMH bought into Virgil Abloh’s original art project by purchasing 60% of OFF-WHITE. In 2023, LVMH is worth over $500 billion.

At the time of Abloh’s passing, the streetwear market was estimated to be $185 billion. A year before PYREX VISION, the category was valued at a mere $60 billion.

Across continents and cultures, Abloh’s impact on fashion is far more than financial. The quiet kid on the laptop opened up a world of possibilities for all those who dare to dream in their creative pursuits.

Chase B: In the African-American space, he did a lot of things that a lot of people thought were impossible. After we saw these things were possible? We stopped taking no for an answer.

Pusha T: Virgil himself has single-handedly given hope to all those who aspire to be in the fashion world on some ‘you can do it too.’

I saw a post today that was a step-by-step from Virgil on how to get in the game and do it yourself from trademarking to Adobe. That speaks to his character and what he was looking to accomplish: inspiring the youth and letting them know that it was possible and not out of reach.

That’s the biggest thing to take from his legacy: he wanted everyone to dream big, you can reach it, and I’m gonna make it look easy for you.

photo by ALAIN JOCARD/AFP via Getty Images

Mamadou Bah: PYREX and other businesses were my educational courses on how to dissect and launch a big brand. That’s why I waited so long to launch C’est Bon, I was teaching myself exactly how to do that.

Upscale Vandal: How many kids were able to find their voice after that era of brands? That group literally killed high fashion retail. There’s no Barney’s, mall shopping is dead, and it’s all direct-to-consumer independent brands from young kids. It’s because of us.

We knew it was time for what we owned in this shit to take center stage. What we owned was all the social equity because we were the ones who made shit cool.

Chase B: Virgil would make you feel like you could do it just by being himself. He provided a lot of people with a lot of platforms. We’d DJ festivals together and I met a lot of people through that.

He put Bloody Osiris as a whole statue at a Louis Vuitton store. He always reached back and took everyone with him with his success.

Benjamin Gott: He was unbelievably positive almost to the point where it was intoxicating. He was a deeply curious person and I believe curiosity kills a lot of negativity.

A$AP Illz: Culture shock. I didn’t think we’d change the game forever, I thought we were just being us, honestly. I was just being me, I was just trying to be creative and dress differently.

Half the people were fucking with it. A lot of people were judging us saying we were gay and stuff like that. It was a lot of critical stuff that we had to take, but I didn’t really give a fuck what anybody said. At the end of the day? We influenced the whole world.

Benjamin Gott: Now, it’s really normal to be interested in a zillion different things. But ten to 12 years ago? People, myself included, were a little more condensed. That’s gone now.

Upscale Vandal: There is no other moment in fashion than those two years that meant more to me. Those two years in fashion is what dictated if I was going to go back to the street – and end up dead or in jail again – or be in this industry.

Benjamin Gott: PYREX VISION came out of absolutely nowhere with a design language nobody had ever seen before. It’s just incredibly beautiful.

The word Pyrex, there’s a lot implied depending on where you’re from. If you don’t know the reference it’s confusing, which is great. If you do know the reference, it’s kind of jarring over No. 23. That’s where it became really artistic to me.

Upscale Vandal: PYREX VISION is an inspiration of Pusha T. That’s why Kanye say, ‘Everything is Pusha T! Fear of God, that’s Pusha T! PYREX VISION, that’s Pusha T!’

All of that stems from Pusha being a rapper who exemplifies street shit in its highest quality. When Pusha talks about drugs and street shit? He’s saying it in a very Sotheby’s, Guggenheim-level curation.

All of those terms were the catalyst for saying that this is the music and inspiration that these kids are living by and what Virgil and Jerry were living by. The streets were inspiring all of these vibes but through a designer lens. It’s the trap through a luxury lens.

Vic Lloyd: In this era of people wanting stuff so fast? He had an idea and could just act on it. ‘I’ve got an idea? I can have it out in two weeks.’

photo by Richard Bord/Getty Images

Mamadou Bah: What I learned is don’t be afraid to put out your artwork. Because if you are afraid? No one’s going to see it and you won’t get a true visual of how you can make it better in the long run. From my standpoint, it’s put out as much work as you can and as efficiently as you can.

Even though people may perceive it as you don’t have a clear set plan? The plan is still there even though you’re moving in real-time. You have this vision that you’re going for, but you’re going to have to adjust the game plan as you go.

Seeing how he did that with PYREX was very prominent regarding how I want to run my business. Don’t be afraid to make those mistakes. Re-edit them and eventually, you will win that championship.

Upscale Vandal: The year before PYREX and the year it came out were the years we were all trying to figure out if we were going to make it. Streetwear saved us.

That era of fashion where leaders like Virgil and Don broke down the doors? That set a precedent, that’s the standard now. Kids are making designer clothes right out of the gate.

Virgil left how to get a license and how to print a t-shirt. We’ve done all of the educating so kids can have a whole business in 48 hours. You couldn’t do that shit in 2010 and be respected. I know kids that have had brands for two months and they’re the hottest shit in the world.

That lens gave us a platform to stand on that no LVMH or GPR can take from us because now we own it.

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About The Author
Ian Stonebrook
Ian Stonebrook
Ian Stonebrook is a Staff Writer covering culture, sports, and fashion for Boardroom. Prior to signing on, Ian spent a decade at Nice Kicks as a writer and editor. Over the course of his career, he's been published by the likes of Complex, Jordan Brand, GOAT, Cali BBQ Media, SoleSavy, and 19Nine. Ian spends all his free time hooping and he's heard on multiple occasions that Drake and Nas have read his work, so that's pretty tight.