The 2016 election result had a traumatic effect on his psyche and as a Black creative in America, he started to feel hopeless as the country declined. Liberties were encroached upon and violence and race relations worsened. He was forced to retreat inwards for a perspective that would help him make sense of the current climate. This journey led him to his African ancestors; their struggles, their survival, their protests.
The African printed fabrics cut on bias and cowrie shells were tattooed on top of tailored wool coats.
The edges of the wool coats’ hemlines were left raw or painted white.
The Nylon puffer technical coat was hand painted abstractly.
Safety pins, which have become a symbol for the protestation of authority, were used to create texture with African printed fabric.
Shirley Chisholm and Kamala Harris on the backs of two of the outerwear pieces allude to hope and change.
The collection exudes his ancestors’ strength, courage, resilience, and most of all their power.
Born in paradise, in the “Land of Wood and Water,” Jamaica, Allan Virgo was introduced to the world of fashion very early on. His journey began among the heaps and mounds of fabric and patterns in his mother’s seamstress and dressmaking business. By the tender age of seven, Allan was already well versed in the art of garment making and construction. Under his mother’s tutelage, he developed and mastered the skill of making beautiful clothes, while understanding the importance of constant innovation and a strong work ethic.
After completing high school in Jamaica, Allan moved to New York where he attended the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). Here he received an Associate Degree in Fashion Design, then a Bachelor of Science in International Trade and Marketing. He began his robust design career by playing an integral role on design teams such as Baby Phat by Kimora Lee Simmons, Guess, Michael Kors, Kenneth Cole and Macy’s.
In 2010 through 2013 Allan Virgo returned to his native Jamaica to introduce his Spring/Summer collections at Jamaica StyleWeek. With an eccentric and unpredictable flair, Allan garnered critical acclaim and stellar reviews in the Jamaica Gleaner, Jamaican Observer, Fashion Bomb Daily Style Magazine, and was featured in Vogue Italia, and British Vogue. After a successful debut and with many years of experience, he decided it was time to launch his self-titled outerwear brand, based in New York. His philosophy can be encapsulated by a commitment to innovative design, craftsmanship, functionality, and quality that are influenced by the American culture around him and his Jamaican roots. Though it is entitled simply, “Allan Virgo,” his brand is anything but simple; he is known to challenge the aesthetic of typical ready-to-wear outerwear. The fame of the Allan Virgo brand is burgeoning amongst fashion’s elite buyers such as international retailer GILT Japan. Allan’s greatest hope for the future is to continue to challenge the norm by blurring the lines of his own artistic expression and wearable fashion while continuing to inspire others through his work.
See more and purchase at AllanVirgo.com.