Penguin Random House has announced that it will posthumously publish Work in Progress, a book Virgil Abloh began writing before his death in 2021. Work in Progress, co-authored by the late, visionary Off-White founder and artistic director of menswear at Louis Vuitton and Anja Aronowsky Cronberg, founder and editor-in-chief of Vestoj, will be a “hybrid work that combines cultural criticism, theory, art, and personal narrative.” It does not yet have a publication date.
Abloh has sought refuge in intellectual, theoretical, and imaginative conversations with Aronowsky Cronberg about his work. One World told Vogue that Abloh’s new book, Work in Progress, is the culmination of their dialogue. The book illuminates the ideas behind Abloh’s astonishing process and practice. Nicole Counts, senior editor at One World, called the book “a perfect blend of textured and vivid storytelling with a meditative and imaginative look into the mind, practices, and philosophies of a visionary.”
Aronowsky Cronberg told Vogue that she and Abloh had been working on the book for several years. “We based it on the conversations we were having: in person, over the phone, via emails, in message threads. We talked about Virgil’s process and ‘logic,’ and about ideas central to his practice: irony and earnestness, hybridity, paradox, the value of originality, and the policing of ‘good’ taste,” she said. “We challenged and learned from one another – and through this ongoing dialogue and friendship, the idea for Work in Progress was born.” Their intention was to present big ideas in an informal way but also to (re)frame fashion – as art, as industry, and as daily practice – both as an important space for critical thinking and a site of dynamic cultural exchange.
Following Abloh’s death at age 41 last November, Aronowsky Cronberg is drawing on extensive recorded conversations with the designer to complete Work in Progress, with “the full support of his wife, Shannon Abloh, access to his archives and the participation of his most trusted creative collaborators and friends,” One World said in a statement. “Work in Progress is a portrait of an iconoclast—a portrait of an intellectual whose bold ideas have been informed by years of experience.”