First Skatepark In Ghana Will Honor Virgil Abloh
On Nov. 28, American designer Virgil Abloh passed away after privately battling a rare form of cancer. Now, clothing brands Off-White and Daily Paper will honor the fashion icon at Freedom Skatepark in Accra, Ghana.
During today’s (Dec. 15) opening ceremony of Freedom Skatepark, Ghana’s first ever skatepark, they will pay tribute to Abloh, who was overseeing the project before he died. The tribute will include music and a skate session in memory of Abloh.
Daily Paper co-founder Jefferson Osei said in a statement, “With this initiative we hope to evolve the skate culture in Ghana to the next level and give locals a platform to grow their talents within a space that will hopefully become their biggest training ground to date.”
He continued, “More than board sports, the park will be a creative hub for young Ghanaians to come together, exchange ideas, inspire each other, and build their futures through recreational activities. They now have a place where they can be themselves, freely develop their skills together with likeminded people, and reach their true potential. Hence the name, Freedom Skate Park.”
Surf Ghana, a nonprofit organization that supports outdoor sports in the West African country, began fundraising for Freedom Skatepark a year ago. Abloh, Off-White, and Daily Paper joined forces to help make the park a reality.
Born to Ghanaian immigrant parents, Abloh grew up in Rockford, Ill. and was greatly influenced by hip hop and skate culture. He received his undergraduate degree in civil engineering from University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master's degree in architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology.
At 22, Abloh met Kanye West and joined his creative team. West became instrumental in Abloh's introduction to Louis Vuitton, and they would eventually intern together for six months at Fendi.
Aside from being the Chief Executive Officer of his own label, Off-White, Abloh was also the first Black man to be named creative director for Louis Vuitton’s men’s fashion collection. In addition to being a transformational creative force in the fashion world, Abloh was also a creative force on the turntables as a DJ and as a furniture designer.
Virgil Abloh chose to handle his diagnosis of cardiac angiosarcoma (a tumor impacting blood flow to and from the heart) privately after initially finding out in 2019. He passed away at 41 years old.