DC bookstore remembers designer, author Virgil Abloh for his generosity

Virgil Abloh
FILE – Designer Virgil Abloh walks backstage prior to his Off-White ready to wear Fall-Winter 2019-2020 collection, that was presented in Paris, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File )

As the entertainment and fashion worlds mourn the loss of fashion-designer and author Virgil Abloh, a D.C. bookstore is remembering his act of generosity earlier this year.

Abloh was Louis Vuitton’s first Black artistic director and was known for his fusion of streetwear and high couture. He was also a bestselling author and a DJ who collaborated on music with rapper Kanye West.

The 41-year-old died Sunday after battling cancer.

The owners of Mahogany Books, in D.C., shared on social media how Abloh donated 50 copies of his book, “ICONS,” to each of 30 independent and Black-owned bookstores worldwide, including Mahogany, and gifting all of the proceeds from sales of that batch of books.

At first, the owners said on Facebook, they thought the emailed offer was a “hoax,” since the books, which consistently sell out, were $70 each. Mahogany Books’ owners said the email said, “these are for you and we hope the sales impact you in a very real and positive way.”

“We never met Mr. Abloh, but to have our store thought of in such a powerful way meant the world to us. Rest well dear Virgil. Your brilliance and generosity will live on in this lifetime and the next,” the bookstore’s owners said.

WTOP’S Gigi Barnett contributed to this report.

Jessica Kronzer

Jessica Kronzer graduated from James Madison University in May 2021 after studying media and politics. She enjoys covering politics, advocacy and compelling human-interest stories.

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