Virgil Abloh is using fashion to support the Black community.
His brand, Off-White, today launches the “I Support Young Black Businesses” project, a quarterly fund-raising program in support of organizations chosen by Abloh and his team.
The brand will release items for sale, with all proceeds going to the organization they select in the quarter. The first products are T-shirts and hoodies with the phrase “I Support Young Black Businesses,” with proceeds going to Chicago CRED, an organization created to reduce gun violence. Abloh has been in partnership with the organization since 2017.
The first “I Support Young Black Businesses” T-shirt was designed in 2019 and debuted in January on tap dancer Cartier Williams in the opening performance of the Off-White runway show in Paris.
In addition, Off-White is kicking off a paid internship program in Milan this September for young Black people who want to establish a career in the fashion industry.
Abloh faced the ire of the public in June when he expressed his feelings about Sean Wotherspoon’s Round Two store getting looted, which many believed it meant Abloh cared more about product and business than police brutality and the police killing of George Floyd and other Black people over the years and for his $50 donation to Miami-based nonprofit Fempower.
The multihyphenate took to social media to explain that he was simply “matching funds” to inspire others to do the same and shared links to other organizations in order to post bailouts for protestors.
In July, Abloh raised $1 million for his “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund for Black students and raffled Off-White Air Jordan IV sneakers through Notre with all proceeds going to Hugs No Slugs, a 501c3 foundation from Aleta Clarke. The raffle reportedly raised more than $187,000 in two days.