The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s athletic department announced on Wednesday the men’s and women's basketball teams will wear special shooting shirts during the month of February to honor the late Virgil Abloh and February’s Black History Month.
Abloh, a 2003 UW-Madison graduate, started the brand Off-White as a high-end streetwear fashion label in 2013 and quickly saw it rise to the mainstream.
Once becoming a popular fashion designer through his own brand, Abloh was picked up by Louis Vuitton as the artistic director of the brand’s menswear collection in 2018.
In 2015, Abloh released “The RED Shirt” in partnership with the university which included “Wisconsin” across the chest, the Off-White signature lines and the Off-White logo on the back.
Abloh, unfortunately, passed away late last year at the age of 41 but inspired many through his innovative designs.
"It's impossible to describe the impact Virgil had on our generation's culture…” the university said in the announcement, “from the music we listen to, to the art we consume, to the clothes we wear. But more importantly, Virgil was an aspirational figure to the young Black community and to an entire generation. On behalf of Badgers everywhere, we mourn the passing of a Badger who changed the world."
The teams will wear an updated version of the 2015 shirt in partnership with the Abloh family with the updated year and “BHM” on the back.
Despite a large cry for the school to re-release the shirts for the public upon the teams’ social media posts about the shirt, the university announced that there are no plans to sell them, and they will not be available to the public.