From DJ gigs to museum exhibitions and runways to pop-up shops, there is no question that Virgil Abloh is the busiest man in fashion. Listing off everything the Off-White head and Louis Vuitton Men's creative director has done in the past year alone could fill a career-spanning CV, twice over (collaborating with Ikea, Evian, playing Coachella, and opening a mid-career retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago). Every time we blink it feels like Abloh is popping up in a different corner of the globe, and on top of that he was even recently appointed to the CFDA board of directors.
It's an insane workload by any measure and according to Abloh's doctors, it's taking a toll. In an interview with Vogue, Abloh announced a three-month hiatus from travel and working from home per doctor's orders. As a result, Abloh has been forced to cancel appearances at Vogue's Forces of Fashion conference, the opening of "Figures of Speech" in Atlanta, and Off-White's upcoming Spring 2020 runway presentation in Paris. But, fear not, the show is still set to go on, with Abloh assuring fans that "his team is equipped to handle this" and that they will be working to retool the performance to replace his attendance with anaudience participation element.
However, Abloh seems to be looking on the bright side of his semi-sabbatical, saying, "I'm excited to drop the kids off at school and be able to be here for those moments... In high school I always took pride in the award where you didn't have any sick days (but now) being busy isn't working. But I'm using this as I do everything else, as a way to propel me forward."
Abloh didn't go into too much detail regarding the specifics of his health, but said that the decision was spurred on after he noticed having trouble "bouncing-back" from an international flight toward the end of August. His doctor explained that a lifestyle that included eight international flights a week wasn't sustainable and that he was pushing his body beyond its reasonable limits. Add in exhaustion, stress, and not getting your recommended eight hours of sleep, and it's a recipe for burn out if you aren't careful.
Given how prolific Abloh's design career has been so far, it's safe to say that we aren't in danger of seeing him disappear anytime. So instead of flaming out, he's going to pump the breaks for now.