In what was undeniably the most fascinating and celebrated fashion move of 2018, luxury fashion house, Louis Vuitton announced the appointment of Off-White head, Virgil Abloh as its new menswear artistic director. This move comes as no surprise following the brand’s consistent flirtations with street culture, proven through collaborations with streetwear giants, Supreme and other notable culture players such as Jaden Smith. Of course, Abloh’s appointment also marks a historic first for the brand, “Virgil is one of the few designers who truly marries street culture with high fashion – and the first black designer to be given such a position in the gilded halls of LVMH,” said Vogue editor Edward Enninful.
Here at Guide To Celebrity we pride ourselves on being the number one gateway for celebrity/brand collaborations, something that has become synonymous with streetwear brands. The fashion industry continues to see substantial changes, stretching the elitist industry to accommodate a broader audience in terms of culture, age, and style. Fashion collaborations have been at the core of these changes, cementing the coalition between high fashion and streetwear. Virgil, as creative director for Off-White has delivered some of the dopest and inspiring collaborations in the past few years, making him the industry’s prolific collaborator.
A LOOK AT MOMENTS THAT MAKE VIRGIL ABLOH THE KING OF COLLABS:
OFF-WHITE X SUNGLASS HUT
Virgil’s Off-White has joined forces with Sunglass Hut on a special capsule collection. Tailored for men and women, the range is comprised of three styles with all of them incorporating flat lenses, clean lines and a selection of color choices and patterns. “I’ve always thought of sunglasses as an important accessory in a fashion context. It’s a small object that can give you the nuances of a brand’s opinion on design. For me I was looking to incorporate classic shapes from the past with a youthful modern elegance. All lenses are flat, which gives each style the same edge,” he said of the collaboration.
OFF-WHITE X IKEA
This time, the industry saw the most exciting name in fashion collaborate with Swedish homeware brand, IKEA. Labelled its “non clothing” project by Off-White, the collab has already produced prototype rugs and a reinvention of IKEA’s famous blue FRAKTA bag. ‘We’re designing this collection with the main goal of providing millennials with solutions for living based on the constraints of space,’ said Abloh of the collection rumoured to land in 2019.
OFF-WHITE X NIKE
The Iconic Nike enlisted Abloh to reimagine ten models from its sneaker archive. Termed “The Ten: Icons Reconstructed by Virgil Abloh,” the icons include the classic Air Jordan 1, Air Max 90, Air Max 97, Blazer, Hyperdunk and Air Force 1. Also on the list are newer, more technical models like the AirVaporMax, Air Presto and Zoom VaporFly, as well as the iconic Chuck Taylor All-Stars, produced by Nike-owned Converse. “I always like a challenge. The idea of ‘The Ten’ is Nike going into its history and asking a designer such as myself to tell a story by highlighting a design detail and innovation within [each of the] ten models,” says Abloh. “What’s interesting is the scope of the project. It’s a hallmark, a very important idea of post-modern culture, innovation and athletic performance all intertwined into one.”
OFF-WHITE X LEVI’S
2016 saw America’s most iconic denim label Levi’s tap into the magic of Kanye West’s former creative consultant as a means of upping its street cred. “This collection was a natural fit to Virgil’s intellectual, transcendent streetwear philosophy—we see this as Levi’s Made & Crafted standing on the shoulders of Levi’s heritage and looking into the future. It’s this mash-up of the familiar, the authenticity of Levi’s with a jarring modernity, that gives this project with Off-White its energy,” said Jonathan Cheung, head of design at Levi’s, in a press release.
OFF-WHITE X HERON PRESTON
Virgil Abloh once again collaborated on a collection of handbags with Heron Preston, who has consulted for Kanye West on The Life of Pablo and his Yeezy brand. The capsule titled ”COLLABORATION” contains an orange and white leather pouch which sits inside a clear PVC shell. “Heron Preston’s ability to think without limits comes to life in this bag we created together,” said Abloh. “The mix of the materials combined with Off-White DNA lead to a final product that suggests a different idea of a ‘handbag.'”
OFF-WHITE X TAKASHI MURAKAMI
Virgil and Japanese artist, Takashi Murakami cemented their working partnership at last year’s ComplexCon by releasing a limited-edition hand-printed t-shirt, and by the end of the year, they’d decided to work together on a full-scale show. The creatives, who have both worked with Kanye West came together to create unique works of art and the results reinforced an unimaginable mashup of Japanese post-pop art and American street style, in full display at their exhibition hosted in London earlier this year.
OFF-WHITE X JIMMY CHOO
This is by far my favourite collaboration Vigril’s Off-White has undertaken. Earlier this year, we took an in-depth look at the highlights from the Off-White x Jimmy Choo collaboration. You can revisit the article here.