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Virgil Abloh is not a designer, and he’s OK with that. “That term seems like it’s for traditionalists,” he says. “TBD the new title.” His official job title is men’s artistic director of Louis Vuitton. But it’s clear that the polymathic Ghanaian-American who founded haute streetwear sensation Off-White after training as a civil engineer and architect, and working as Kanye West’s creative director, is out to fundamentally redefine what that means. For years, critics have noted his lack of fashion schooling and called his work derivative. After the Louis Vuitton show, some cast Abloh himself as the Wizard of Oz, who at the end of the film is exposed to be a fraud hiding behind a curtain. The cynics may be missing the point. Abloh, who is 37, says he has “fully downloaded” the critique, but comes from a different school of thought. His approach is born of hip-hop and the omnesiac culture of the internet, where the past is impossible to forget; always just a few clicks away and open to constant referencing. Abloh uses the term “readymade,” coined by French-American artist Marcel Duchamp, who might be best known for taking found objects and re-contextualising them as art. He interprets this as a way to birth new ideas with recognisable parts. He also references the “3 percent approach,” the notion that you only need to edit something three percent to make it seem at once familiar and completely new. Abloh can be hard to decipher; BoF sat down with him for an in-depth interview. [Link in bio] #virgilabloh #fashion #louisvuitton 📷: Karim Sadli
If you’ve never heard of Virgil Abloh, now’s the time to familiarise yourself with that name—because he’s getting big in the fashion world. The designer who was previously a DJ, architect, artist and recently appointed as the head of Louis Vuitton‘s menswear line is probably on top of the world right now. His streetwear brand Off-White has been named the hottest fashion label worldwide according to Lyst Index’s report that came out earlier this week—leaving big boys like Gucci, Prada, and Balenciaga behind.
According to reports, Off-White leads the way by having 3 of their products on the ‘hottest products list’ out of the 20 entries. The 5.4 million Instagram following is a result of the out-of-the-box and avant-garde spin on street style, making it red carpet-worthy as well. From the biggest international personalities wearing these designs to some pretty insane collaborations with bigger fashion houses, Off-White has cemented itself as the most coveted and talked about brand this year.
The brand is going above and beyond to redefine streetwear and doing it so right. We’ve love to hear what you think. Comment below and tell us!