Off-White, founded by fashion designer Virgil Abloh – who is also menswear designer Louis Vuitton – is one of the trendiest brands in fashion. At the fall / winter show 2020 in Paris on Wednesday morning, however, audience members had to wait for the first appearance of the scheduled items to gain a lot of Instagram space next season. The show started with the sound: the shoes of a lone dancer.
Cartier Williams, a veteran who danced at the White House for Bill Clinton, continued to stand out as models began to fill the basement space of a shopping mall. It was part of a fashion show, part of a Broadway show – an unusual combination that once again showed Abloh's talent for creating gold on social media and creating clothes.
He beckons to a work wardrobe: the suitcases on display easily held laptops and exercise kits. Photography: Stephane Cardinale / Corbis via Getty Images
The clothes reflected a change in the perspective of the designer. In December, the pioneer of street fashion who successfully put hoods, caps and sneakers on the catwalk declared that "time will come to the category" in the 2020s. in gray and colors that include bright red and green. Other nods to a work wardrobe included a classic trench and handbags that would easily accommodate the laptops and gym kits that accompany office workers on their daily commute, while knitwear, including ponchos and knit tops, had a smoother feel. homemade.
Abloh is no fool, however – he has worked hard to develop a customer base and wants to keep it. Included were streetwear classics, including a hoodie and a cap, and collaboration with Swiss artist Pascal Möhlmann on playful prints featuring a "caution, wet" sign – not to mention Williams' t-shirt saying "I Support young black companies ”- will appeal to loyal young people who make statements with their clothes, usually on social media.
This is the first off-white show since September, when Abloh – who also stands out as a DJ and collaborates on sold out items from brands ranging from Nike to Ikea – announced that he would take a break. The designer was not present at his show in late September under medical orders. “In the end, it's okay,” he said at the time, “but the doctor told me, 'This rhythm you kind of pushed your body – to go all these miles, do all these different projects – is not good for your health. "
January, however, seemed to be back in business as usual, as the polymath added another string to his bow: that of the artist. At the end of the show in Paris, the models formed a mise en scène under the chandelier in the center of the room, with Abloh – wearing sunglasses – emerging from the spotlight for his bow. Perhaps it is only suitable for someone who, like a pop star, draws crowds of devotees out of the show, eager to catch a glimpse of their idol.
In the spotlight: Abloh joined models at the end of the show. Photography: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images
This program is just part of Abloh's impressive creative production. This year alone, he launched collaborations with Evian and Patek Philippe. He also made furniture for an exhibition at Paris design studio Galerie kreo, which opened the night before the show.
These various projects mean that Abloh is often called the Renaissance man – so a collaboration with the Louvre for the museum's Leonardo da Vinci exhibition seems particularly appropriate. Off-White has produced a range of merchandising for the store. Speaking of the collaboration, Abloh acknowledged that Da Vinci – who contributed to the invention of the helicopter and painted The Last Supper – set the model for polymats like him. "It's a crucial part of my overall body of work to prove … that creativity doesn't have to be linked to just one discipline," said Abloh. "I think Leonardo da Vinci was perhaps the first artist to live up to this principle, and I'm trying too."