Olympic gold medalist Shaun White received the Louis Vuitton treatment on his way to the Beijing Games. Snowboarder Shaun White and Louis Vuitton menswear artistic director Virgil Abloh met shortly before Abloh’s sad death.
Their meet took place during the 2021 ski season by which point White had already won three Olympic gold medals and 23 X Games medals by the age of 34.
Whitespace, his namesake brand, debuted on January 13 with a limited-edition signed snowboard. Virgil was an architect by trade and a passionate snowboarder. In 2012, he founded Off-White, a luxury streetwear label.
Shaun and Virgil had different careers, but they formed a friendship that has influenced the snowboarder to this day. Shaun recalled Virgil’s company in an interview with Men’s Health.
Shaun White’s 50-unit drop of a limited-edition snowboard signed and numbered by Whitespace sold out almost immediately. “I’ve always wanted to make a Louis Vuitton trunk to transport my equipment,” White explained. Unsurprisingly, Virgil Abloh was enthusiastic about the project from the beginning. That conversation resulted in a snowboard case and a guitar case, both embossed with the LV logo – two firsts for the fashion house. Each piece exemplifies Virgil Abloh’s influence on the design house.
Like others around the world, news of Virgil’s passing shocked Shaun.
“It was so jarring – we had plans to go snowboard,” White said. “I heard the news and was flattened like everyone was. Like, wow, what a loss.”