Designer Spotlight: Virgil Abloh
If you love streetwear fashion, then you must be familiar with the brand Off-White. This uber-popular label is well-loved for its fresh and bold designs that perfectly represent the modern urban street culture. What makes this brand so successful and different from the many others in the streetwear arena? Let’s take a closer look and find out!
Founded in 2012 in Milan, Italy, Off-White was created by talented designer Virgil Abloh. That name may sound familiar to you – it’s because Abloh has worked for major fashion houses before. Virgil Abloh got his start in the fashion industry by interning at Fendi back in 2009. The young designer met Kanye West while at Fendi and the two started to collaborate.
Abloh was already making waves early in his career in the fashion industry. With his new friendship with the famed West, Abloh’s name gained even more popularity. In 2012, he founded his first fashion house named Off-White. According to Abloh, the name is the “gray area between black and white”. His first designs featured modern lines, high-end fabrics, white arrows, plain labels and screen-printed quotations.
With a high price point, Off-White targets a certain market that can afford to splurge on expensive streetwear clothing. Not everyone was a fan, of course, and the brand has been thrown many criticisms over the years.
Overall, Off-White is a huge player in the streetwear fashion arena. With ties to A-listers like Kanye West, ASAP Rocky, Beyonce, Rihanna and Travis Scott, it was easy for the brand to gain a cult following. Celebrities have been spotted wearing and promoting Off-White pieces, which just further elevated the status of the brand.
The huge success of Off-White has made Virgil Abloh one of the most popular designers of this generation. On March 2018, Virgil Abloh became Louis Vuitton’s Menswear Artistic Director. He is the first director of the brand who is of African descent.
Vanessa Friedman, New York Times Fashion Director, has dubbed Abloh as “the Karl Lagerfeld for Millenials”. Being a harbinger of cultural change and showcasing the best of streetwear, it is no surprise that Abloh has so much appeal to the youth. He continues to break barriers and create outstanding designs with his brand and also his collaborations with other designers.
Abloh once said in a 2017 interview that he did not expect to be a full-time creative. “I felt that a random black kid from the suburbs of Chicago shouldn’t be doing that”, Abloh stated. It wasn’t only until after he finished his master’s degree in architecture when his interest in fashion sparked.
Off-White has definitely helped in shaping the current state of streetwear fashion. With Abloh leading the pack, we are excited to see where the streetwear culture is headed.