Off-White

Virgil Abloh to Be Celebrated in Nordstrom’s Latest Pop-up

Virgil Abloh to Be Celebrated in Nordstrom’s Latest Pop-up

Nordstrom is dedicating its latest New Concepts@Nordstrom shop to late designer Virgil Abloh.On Thursday, the retailer in partnership with Abloh’s estate, will unveil Concept 018: Virgil Abloh Securities, which will encompass a variety of his endeavors in fashion, art and culture. The shop will include pieces from his apparel brand Off-White, as well as his creative studio Alaska Alaska, art store Canary Yellow and the Church & State merchandise from Abloh’s “Figures of Speech” exhibition on display at the Brooklyn Museum.
Virgil Abloh Securities is a creative corporation founded by the designer, who died in December at the age of 41 after a two-year battle with cardiac angiosarcoma, that hopes to maintain his approach and ethos.

Nordstrom is a sponsor of the exhibition at the museum that runs through Jan. 29, 2023 and the campaign images for the Concept 018 shop were shot outside of the Brooklyn landmark. The retailer partnered with the museum on the exhibition opening party in June, as well as on the “Brooklyn Talk” series that honored the legacy of Abloh. Throughout the duration of the exhibition and the New Concepts shop, Nordstrom will continue to partner on events and activations with the Brooklyn Museum including the Social Sculptures series featuring Jian DeLeon, men’s fashion and editorial director at Nordstrom, and the Teen Night programming where Nordstrom will participate in a mentorship session.

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Sam Lobban, Nordstrom’s executive vice president and general merchandise manager of apparel and designer, who launched the New Concepts concept, said: “We are excited and honored to bring Concept 018: Virgil Abloh Securities to fruition. We started working on the project with Virgil and his team back in March 2021, and hope that the end result can help in celebrating his passion, energy and purpose which he brought to every endeavor. We’re grateful to Shannon Abloh and the Virgil Abloh Securities team for the opportunity and are excited for our customers to be able to participate in continuing his legacy.”

The retailer is a sponsor of the Abloh exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum.

The shop features men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, shoes and accessories. It includes an exclusive capsule from Off-White with embroidered T-shirts and hoodies, varsity jackets, track pants and a check shirt and matching kilt for men, and dresses, cropped T-shirts, sweatshirts, overshirts and lace dégradé tops and pants for women. Prices range from $400 for the cropped T-shirts to $4,465 for an embroidered Strass varsity jacket. There are also baseball caps for $330, dégradé sneakers for $605, bags for $1,935 and the Paperwork fragrance for $185.
The Canary Yellow offering includes T-shirts with an Abloh stripe for $55, a Virgil Abloh Securities logo or the quote: “Design is the Freshest Scam” for $65, as well as grip tape for $28, a candle for $15 and keychains for $12. There’s also a Denim Tears x Canary Yellow hoodie and T-shirt.
Other pieces in the shop include a collaboration with skateboarder Sal Barbier that includes T-shirts, hoodies, jackets, jeans, a cap and sneakers ranging in price from $335 to $940 and a selection of skateboards retailing for $545.
The Figures of Speech/Brooklyn Museum line, which includes children’s apparel as well as adult, ranges from T-shirts and hoodies and track pants to mugs, totes, postcards and stickers that range in price from $9 to $130.

In addition to the shop and exhibit, Nordstrom is making a donation to the Fashion Scholarship Fund’s Virgil Abloh “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund to foster equity and inclusion in the fashion industry by providing scholarships to students of academic promise of Black, African American or African descent. The fund will include a direct donation to selected scholars and the opportunity for them to be mentored by Nordstrom executives on the retail part of the fashion industry.
Concept 018: Virgil Abloh Securities will be available at 15 Nordstrom locations around the country including the men’s store in New York, the Seattle flagship, units in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh, as well as online.
Previous Concept pop-ups have included those devoted to sports as well as brands Fear of God, Pangaia and Thom Browne.

Despite Store Closures, Niche Brands Can Still Make It Big in China

Despite Store Closures, Niche Brands Can Still Make It Big in China

SHANGHAI — Off-White is the latest international fashion brand to scale back its China operations after the country’s key cities went through months-long COVID-19 lockdowns.According to local media reports, the label founded by the late Virgil Abloh recently shut down four stores in Shanghai, Chengdu and Xi’an.
The brand still operates seven stores in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Tianjin, Shenyang and Chengdu.
The store inside Shanghai’s upscale Réel Mall has been replaced with Totême, WWD observed on Tuesday. The only store that remains open in Shanghai is located in Galeries Lafayette Shanghai, which is operated by I.T, the same local retail partner as Off-White.
Both Off-White and I.T did not respond immediately to WWD’s requests for comment.

Industry experts believe the brand remains popular in second- and third-tier cities, but as its China franchise operator I.T goes through a retail reorganization post-lockdown, Off-White’s retail future remains up in the air.

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When Off-White entered the market in 2017, the pop-culture association quickly ignited the interest of young hypebeasts.
The brand expanded to 16 stores by the end of 2020. Its marketing initiatives included a focus on exclusive and limited product offerings in China. But at the time, local media outlets discovered that Off-White-related content is highly associated with keywords like “discount” on Xiaohongshu, the popular social-commerce app.
According to local retail insiders, despite quickly expanding its retail network, the brand fell short on localized branding and content creation.
“Shoppers didn’t truly get the vibe of Off-White to begin with, and in China, the cost of forgetting is extremely low,” said a fashion buyer of a well-known retail operator in Shanghai.

Backstage at Trussardi RTW Fall 2022

Daniele Mango/WWD

But Off-White isn’t alone. Italian luxury label Trussardi also decided to suspend direct operations in China recently. The brand is in the process of closing one directly operated store but retains its franchise and wholesale business in China.
“The strategy has evolved in light of the changing context in the market,” Sebastian Suhl, the brand’s chief executive officer, told WWD at the time.
“The pandemic impacted the whole retail landscape for brands in every segment. That’s the negative side of the story,” said real estate operator URF’s chairman and founder Dickson Szeto.
“But on the other hand, we see brands with a positive attitude that have taken branding and storytelling to the next level. That’s why we also see companies like OTB doubling down on the market. They can capture the opportunities presented by clients who couldn’t travel abroad to shop,” added Szeto.

A look from Nanushka for resort 2023.

Courtesy

Samuel Ross’ fashion venture A-Cold-Wall, Sequoia Capital China-backed South Korean fashion brand We11done, as well as Alexandre Mattiussi’s Ami, British handbag brand By Far, Polish underground club kid favorite Misbhv, and Hungarian label Nanushka under Vanguard Group are some entrants gearing up for brick-and-mortar store launches in the Chinese market this year.
Meanwhile, Holzweiler, the Scandinavian brand recently backed by Sequoia Capital China, plans to open a Tmall store this fall, according to market sources.

Angelica Cheung, venture partner at the firm and founding editor of Vogue China, who just relocated from Beijing to Hong Kong with her family, believes Holzweiler has “a huge opportunity to expand to other parts of the world, especially at a time when audiences value nature, the outdoors, and human connection more than ever before.”

Suzanne, Andreas and Maria Skappel Holzweiler.

Courtesy of Holzweiler

In a post-lockdown China, shifts in consumer attitudes have created space for new players that can fulfill shoppers’ changing style needs.
“Consumer’s emotions are increasingly complex and volatile after the pandemic, leading to more eclectic aesthetic needs,” said Xueying Sun, WGSN China’s senior editor. “We see a return to classics and practicality, and at the same time a call for extremely trendy and artistic designs.”
Sun thinks niche brands need to produce products with “flexible design elements with traffic driving features.”
Szeto said brands “can’t ‘lie flat,’ but must aggressively maintain a positive online attitude, or online storytelling approach.”
For Shanghai-based Julio Ng, executive director of the fashion showroom Seiya Nakamura 2.24, which represents more than 40 brands including Rick Owens, Christopher Kane, Dion Lee, Ganni, Marine Serre, Peter Do, Stefan Cooke and Tomo Koizumi, niche brands must also constantly reinvent their hero products to keep the surprise alive.
“Consumers in China right now have the money to spend. The best way to improve and experience fashion is to spend the money to buy it, wear it and try it,” said Ng.
“But once it’s been worn, its photo has been taken or posted on social media, the value of the pieces decreases. So designers have to reinvent their so-called signature pieces constantly. That’s the most important part,” he added.

Eli Russell Linnetz of ERL.

Dominique MAITRE/WWD

To maintain momentum, Ng thinks brands need to pick up the pace with fresh product releases.
“When the market is saturated, and a brand has not been able to reinvent those bestselling styles, it very often leads to a decline in wholesale. And once that happens, it basically just collapsed everywhere,” said Ng.
Both Szeto and Ng suggest young niche brands take on “short-term activities” such as pop-ups or brand-related in-store activities to make some noise in the market when it reaches peak influence.

For example, the Shanghai-based concept store ENG plans to launch a pop-up for Eli Russell Linnetz’s namesake label ERL this September, while Marine Serre is looking into similar activations in the market.
“But we realized that an installation at a store is not enough. What’s more important is how these installation or community programs tie back to the brand and each of the retailers, VIP customers, or followers,” said Ng.
Initial brand building means maintaining a healthy relationship with seed customers, which includes local celebrities, influencers and VIPs, who will become an asset for niche players to help with organic growth.

Marine Serre, spring 2023

Courtesy of Primexposureimage/Ma

“The brands need to make these people feel like they are a part of the brand family, they are cared for, this is also an important attitude to communicate,” said Szeto.
When the brand sees enough traffic on social media and e-commerce sites like Tmall, there’s a window of time to establish a permanent retail presence in the market.
“Normally, I would say if you reach 1 million euros in wholesale orders in China alone, you can consider finding a Taobao Partner company to set up a Tmall International or Tmall Local online store,” said Ng.
“But if you don’t reach that amount, I would say don’t even think about it, because even though if you set it up, you know you end up spending a lot of money for digital and offline marketing. And you might not even see any sort of payoff,” he added.

Eid al-Fitr 2022 Gift Guide: 11 Thoughtful Picks for Your Loved Ones

Eid al-Fitr 2022 Gift Guide: 11 Thoughtful Picks for Your Loved Ones

Vogue Arabia, January 2022. Photo: Paul Farnham
With Eid Al-Fitr 2022 coming up after a reflective month of Ramadan, it calls for the continued spirit of giving. Welcome your loved ones with a beautiful bouquet of flowers from Forever Rose London or Flowers.ae, and a selection of delectable desserts from Brix. Nothing says Eid like an elegant outfit and what better way to complete that than with Dior’s blush-toned bag and Kurt Geiger’s matte pink heels, which come with a sparkling finish?
Diptyque embraces the Oud scent reminiscent of households on a refreshing Eid day, while Cartier keeps in mind those with a love for Arabic coffee with a collection of cups laced with gold and its signature motif, the panther. Semsem brings out its elegant pieces of clothing to satisfy your kaftan needs this Eid, especially with their olive green draped number, which can easily be paired with Miu Miu’s dazzling princess-like heels for an Eid night out with family.

Below, take a closer look at 11 Eid al-Fitr gifts that are ideal for your family and friends.
Capsule collection, Christian Dior
Photo: Courtesy of Dior
Penthère de Cartier cups, Cartier
Photo: Courtesy of Cartier
Flower of Eternity necklace, Mouawad
Photo: Courtesy of Mouawad
Capsule collection, Off-White
Photo: Courtesy of Off-white
Bouquet, Flowers.ae
Photo: Courtesy of Flowers.ae
Capsule collection, Kurt Geiger
Photo: Courtesy of Kurt Geiger
Floral centerpiece, Forever Rose London
Photo: Courtesy of Forever Rose London
Kaftan, Semsem
Photo: Courtesy of Semsem
Capsule collection, Miu Miu
Photo: Courtesy of Miu Miu
Oud candle, Diptyque
Photo: Courtesy of Ounass
Limited-edition three-tier gift box, Brix
Photo: Courtesy of Brix
Read Next: Eid al-Fitr 2022 Gift Guide: 11 Presents for Anyone Who Loves Beauty, Makeup, Skincare and Fragrances

The Late Virgil Abloh’s Luxe New Mercedes-Maybach S-Class Has Arrived—With Matching Streetwear

The Late Virgil Abloh’s Luxe New Mercedes-Maybach S-Class Has Arrived—With Matching Streetwear

Even after his death, Virgil Abloh lives on.

The third and final installment of the late Black designer’s collaboration with Mercedes-Benz has finally been revealed in the form of a new Merc and matching streetwear.
Project Maybach, which was first announced last October, kicked off with, you guessed it, a reimagined Maybach. Abloh worked alongside the marque’s chief design officer, Gorden Wagener, to create a futuristic, battery-powered grand tourer inspired by how one could explore nature within a uniquely luxury context. The show car was finalized shortly before Abloh’s death in November and unveiled in December.

Virgil Abloh’s new 2023 Maybach S-Class S 680. 

Mercedes-Benz

In addition to that singular coupé, the duo penned a new production model based on the 2023 Maybach S-Class S 680. Like its predecessor, the luxury sedan features a two-tone color scheme of beige with black accents, along with the signature Maybach 20-inch wheels and the trademark barred grille. The interior continues the theme with fine beige and black leather adorning the cabin. Elsewhere, you’ll find a 6.0-liter V12 engine good for 604 hp and a personalized user interface that is described as a “more luxurious” variation of the MBUX system.

The Maybach’s cabin is finished in black and beige leather. 

Mercedes-Benz

The new ride is presented alongside a matching apparel collection that will be available from today. Created in partnership with Abloh’s famed streetwear label Off-White, the capsule comprises an array of clothing and accessories that take design cues from the limited-edition S-Class.

The capsule comprises an array of clothing and accessories. 

Mercedes-Benz

Featuring the same color palette as the four-wheeler, the line includes practical streetwear essentials emblazoned with the Off-White and Mercedes-Benz logos. You’ll find a classic cotton t-shirt, a round-neck cotton fleece sweatshirt, a co-branded hoodie and a canvas cap, all finished in a subtle, sand hue and vintage wash. Naturally, there is a pair of suede driving gloves, too, which proudly sport blue “ABLOH” velcro straps across the wrists.

The line includes practical streetwear essentials. 

Mercedes-Benz

While this is a somewhat humble contribution to Abloh’s vast legacy, the Mercedes-Maybach project showcases his unbridled imagination and inherent ability to enrich the conversation around luxury design. It also demonstrates how cross-industry dialogue can help move the needle toward a more inclusive future. In fact, Mercedes recently partnered with rapper A$AP Rocky to create a ’90s-inspired clothing collection and Palace founder Lev Tanju on a line of trendy workwear. These moves continue to solidify the bond between the worlds of fashion and cars.

Abloh’s Maybach will be limited to just 39 examples that will be sold in the United States. Pricing is upon request (contact your local dealership), but given that the Mercedes-Maybach S680 is expected to start above $215,000, it’s safe to say this model will be even pricer. The apparel collection, meanwhile, will be available starting April 5 online at Off-White as well as on Farfetch and Maybach Icons of Luxury. The capsule will also be on sale at select Off-White stores.

Worn as an Abaya, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Al-Thani’s Off-White Coat Featured an Unexpected Slogan

Worn as an Abaya, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Al-Thani’s Off-White Coat Featured an Unexpected Slogan

Photo: Facebook/almayassahamad
On March 31, fashion enthusiasts and lovers of Off-White came together in Qatar for a special evening that celebrated the label founded by late American designer Virgil Abloh. Part of ‘Qatar Creates’, a series of workshops, exhibits and talks that lead up to the opening of the National Museum of Qatar, the special evening put on display some of the brand’s most exciting creations, and was attended by a handpicked selection of guests, which included supermodel Naomi Campbell, and HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani.As we are on the brink of the onset of the Holy Month of Ramadan, Campbell attended the event in a yellow overcoat that gave modest dressing a street style spin with its sparkling silver cuffs and trademark Off-White utility belt, which came in a soothing white and beige palette. But all eyes were on HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani, who also gave her nod of approval to the label by donning an equally interesting piece from its lineup for the occasion.
Photo: Facebook/almayassahamad
The royal walked into the event, hosted at M7 Studio, dressed in a deep blue ankle-grazing Off-White coat, which served well as a new-age abaya. While at first glance, the layer looked simple, it came with two very distinct design elements. The first: a neon green label on the left sleeve, and the second, the world ‘respectfully’, which was embellished in sparkling rhinestones on the back of Her Excellency’s coat. Along with creating an interesting sartorial moment, the add-on also shared an important reminder of what matters most during Ramadan, a time of focusing on self-reflection, growth, respectfulness, and community.
Photo: Instagram.com
Take a closer look, and you’ll notice that Naomi Campbell’s Off-White layer came with the same message as HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani’s. While the former styled her piece with bold boots, the latter went the traditional route with a head covering. In case you missed it, Off-White also launched its special Ramadan collection today, which spotlights pieces that are modest, comfortable and festive, thanks to their Swarosvki detailing.

Nike Unveils Off-White Blazer Low Sneaker

Nike Unveils Off-White Blazer Low Sneaker

Nike is continuing Virgil Abloh’s legacy with its next release with Off-White.
The sports giant revealed Wednesday it will be releasing the Nike x Off-White Blazer Low sneaker style on April 8, the first style released in collaboration with Abloh’s fashion brand since his passing in November.
“Prior to his passing, Abloh was characteristically prolific,” reads a statement from Nike. “In his planning with Nike, Abloh and his creative trust had developed fully realized product collaborations and uniquely Abloh marketing and storytelling vehicles for seasons to come.”
The Nike x Off-White Blazer Low’s release is “in accordance with Abloh’s wishes” and “in partnership with his wife, Shannon Abloh,” according to Nike.

Nike x Off-White Blazer Low
Courtesy of Nike

The sneaker comes in two colorways: black/green and white/university red. It is inspired by basketball, skateboarding and running silhouettes, like the Nike Air Terra Humara. The sneaker has an exposed foam tongue, an accented over lace Swoosh tab, punched-out holes and is emblazoned with the text, “Off-White for Nike/ ‘Nike Blazer Low’/ Beaverton, Oregon USA/ c. 1977.”
The Nike x Off-White Blazer Low retails for $140 and will be available at Nike and Off-White stores.
The collaboration comes after Abloh revealed a Nike Air Force 1 sneaker collaboration in his Louis Vuitton spring 2022 men’s collection a few months prior to his death.
Abloh passed away on Nov. 28 at the age of 41 after a private two-year battle with cancer.
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A Closer Look at Rihanna’s Pregnancy Style So Far

A Closer Look at Rihanna’s Pregnancy Style So Far

If anyone has elevated maternity fashion as of late, it is Rihanna.The singer-turned-businesswoman has continued to one-up herself when it comes to style during her pregnancy. She and her boyfriend A$AP Rocky revealed in January they were expecting their first child together.
While it seems many celebrities tend to hide or shield their baby bumps, Rihanna seems to have fully embraced her growing belly by wearing crop tops and more revealing pieces that show off her body.
Since the news broke, the singer has stepped out in some of her most memorable and boldest looks to date, taking on red carpet events and Milan and Paris Fashion Week by storm.
In true Rihanna fashion, the pregnancy announcement came in the form of a glamorous street style photo shoot taken by celebrity photographer Diggzy on the streets of New York.

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In the photos, Rihanna wore a bright pink puffer trenchcoat by Chanel and long, blue ripped jeans as she walked hand-in-hand with A$AP Rocky. She also wore a black jeweled belt by Chanel and had her hair in long curls, keeping her makeup look simple.
The pink Chanel coat is reportedly from the fashion house’s fall 1996 collection.

A few days after the reveal, the singer posted a photo of herself in an oversized sports jersey showing off her baby bump, as well as the images by Diggzy. “how the gang pulled up to black history month,” she captioned it.
In February, Rihanna uploaded another carousel of photos taken by Diggzy of herself in an all-black ensemble from head to toe, wearing a lace up bodysuit, tight black pants, a black puffer and black stiletto pumps embellished with jewelry.

During an event in Los Angeles celebrating Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin, the singer appeared in a glittery look by The Attico, which was a sheer, shredded outfit that included a backless lime-green top and pink ombré pants.

Rihanna at the Fenty Beauty And Fenty Skin Celebration in Los Angeles
Sipa USA via AP

That month, Rihanna uploaded another group of jaw-dropping photos of herself wearing a colorful fur coat over a tie-front leather top and blue denim jeans. She topped off the look with nude sandals and a camouflage trucker hat.

At Gucci’s ready-to-wear show in February, the style icon wore a latex and lace cropped top that showed off her growing baby bump, paired with black trousers with a dragon motif, a purple fur jacket and a mirror-embellished chainmail headpiece. She also accessorized with a tanzanite and aquamarine estate cross necklace from Briony Raymond.

A$AP Rocky and Rihanna
Victor Boyko/Getty Images for Gucci

During Paris Fashion Week, Rihanna continued her hot streak of fashion-forward styles by wearing a formfitting leather nude minidress by Off-White to the label’s fashion show, where she posed for pictures with A$AP Rocky. She paired the look with a Glenn Martens coat and Dior bag.

Rihanna and A$AP Rocky at the Off-White fall 2022 show.
Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

At the Dior show, the singer bared it all in a sheer black maternity lingerie dress, which she wore with black leather patent boots and accessorized with layered necklaces. She topped the look off with her hair half up, half down and a red lip.

Rihanna in the front row at Dior’s fall 2022 show.
STEPHANE FEUGERE/WWD

During the Bulgari party in Paris, Rihanna wore a cut-out aqua bodysuit by Stella McCartney from the label’s spring 2022 ready-to-wear collection. She topped off the look with matching sunglasses from Gucci and an oversize utility trench coat.

While out in Paris, the businesswoman wore a look by Y/Project from the label’s fall 2022 collection, featuring a large brown sherpa teddy coat, white hoodie and matching brown leather boots.

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Live From the Gucci Show: Rihanna Sits Front Row, Gucci Unveils Adidas Collaboration
Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty Lingerie Store Coming to New York City

Remembering Virgil Abloh and His Many Contributions to Fashion

Remembering Virgil Abloh and His Many Contributions to Fashion

Virgil Abloh, at his fall 2020 Off-White show. Photo: Alessandro Lucioni/Gorunway.com
Virgil Abloh, who has died November 28 aged 41, will be remembered as one of the most popular and influential fashion designers of his era. As both the founder of Off-White and the Creative Director of Menswear for Louis Vuitton, Abloh’s ascent from show-crashing fashion tourist in 2009 to the very apex of the global luxury industry at the time of his passing is arguably the defining fashion story of the 2010s. For as both an African American and a creative whose work emerged from the rag-tag genre of streetwear—a genre whose definition he regularly contested—Abloh was the seminal boundary breaker in a notoriously bordered business.
Abloh’s influence, however, will also be remembered well beyond fashion. It was only six months ago that he observed in an interview: “I operate by my own rules, in my own logic, and I’m not fearful.” By 2021 that same unorthodox process that fueled his unprecedented rise in a world so often ruled by convention had led him to see his fashion design as only the by-product of a greater end. This was, as he described it, “making a global community regardless of the elitism or sort of territorial-ness that can happen in the subculture.”
Virgil Abloh backstage at his fall 2021 Off-White show with Bella Hadid. Photo: Acielle/Style du Monde
Abloh’s greatest product of all was the varied creation of opportunity for others to whom opportunity is otherwise routinely denied. In 2017, for instance, he created a uniform for Melting Passes, a team of recently immigrated soccer players in Paris whose lack of residency status meant they were excluded from playing in official competition, and later included them in the audience at an Off-White show. There were 3,000 students at his first Louis Vuitton show at the Tuileries in 2018. He worked to support skateboarders and surfers in Ghana, the birth-country of his parents, and provided funds to fix park and play facilities in Chicago, the city he called home.
In August 2020 he launched his Post-Modern Scholarship Fund as a progressive response to Black Lives Matter, and has since worked to raise funds and support for Black-owned businesses. He was also generous in the professional sphere, mentoring younger Black designers including the Briton Samuel Ross, and employing others within the design team at Off-White, one of whom wrote during the writing of this article: “I owe so much to Virgil.”
Abloh’s generosity was fueled by hope. In that same interview six months ago he spoke of his excitement at the thought that technology could create the conditions in which “humanity can be a sort of utopia.”
Virgil Abloh backstage at his fall 2018 Off-White show. Photographed by Corey Tenold
He added: “And that’s why I focus on design, while I’m also focusing on asking what and who can I shine a light on. You know it’s not just about making art or fashion for its own sake: there are kids in Accra who can become attached and engaged in the skateboarding community if someone builds a bridge. And there are kids in the South Side of Chicago that need education and health: how does what I’m doing tie into that? What’s the bridge for that? That’s sort of the ethos of my career. You know, I started the Post-Modern Scholarship Fund and raised a million dollars to offer assistance in the education of black students. Those things, they’re critical to me.” Most recently, in July, that critical imperative in Abloh’s thinking received the backing of LVMH, which announced that he would consult for the conglomerate at an executive level, acting to create positive disruption across the group.
Virgil Abloh was born in 1980 in Rockford, Illinois, to Nee and Eunice Abloh, who had emigrated to the United States from Ghana. When not at school Abloh developed an early passion for skateboarding—which he credited with sparking his first interest in fashion—and later DJing, which would become another key facet in his lifetime’s work. While studying Civil Engineering at the University of Wisconsin and later the Illinois Institute of Technology he encountered Kanye West, another unorthodox thinker, who was so impressed that he installed Abloh as his ‘creative director’ in 2002.
During the next few years Abloh’s many activities included launching a retail space gallery, working in the Been Trill collective alongside Heron Preston and Matthew Williams, and launching Pyrex Vision, a now long-defunct brand that is still bootlegged to this day. In 2009 he made his most personally significant launch of all: a successful proposal of marriage to his then girlfriend of a decade, Shannon Sundberg.

That was also the year that, now famously, Abloh joined West and their associates Don C, Taz Arnold, Chris Julian, and Fonzworth Bentley to attend the Paris fashion shows: West later estimated they managed to gain access to just over half of them. In the same year, Abloh joined West for a one month internship at the Fendi headquarters in Rome, and the year after joined West’s Donda project. By 2013 the designer decided to pivot from Pyrex Vision in order to focus on a fresh concept he’d named Off-White. He shared this idea with County of Milan’s Marcelo Burlon, a fellow spirit, designer, and DJ, who encouraged Abloh to manufacture Off-White through what would later become the New Guards group in Milan.
Virgil Abloh with Naomi Campbell at the close of his spring 2018 Off-White show. Photo: Catwalking / Getty Images
The reveal of the first Off-White collection in 2014 coincided with a broader shift in the currents of fashion. Responding, at first slowly, to shifting consumer desires that proved difficult to rationalize against established luxury clothing categories, houses had started tentatively offering sneakers. But a generation that habitually wore sneakers and rarely considered tailoring increasingly demanded more—they wanted ‘streetwear.’ By showing pure streetwear in a fashion show context Abloh’s Off-White breached the dam between fashion’s ivory tower and the street’s more inverted forms of sneakerhead discernment. In 2015 Off-White was nominated for the LVMH Prize and by 2018, when greater seismic shifts in the menswear sector led to a four-house creative reshuffle, Abloh was championed by Kim Jones to take over the job at Louis Vuitton. Alongside Olivier Rousteing at Balmain, he duly became only one of two Black designers in the leading design role at a Parisian house.
That sunny afternoon show on June 21, 2018, was held on a rainbow runway and distinctly felt like a watershed moment in fashion—which it was. After he took his bow, Abloh and West exchanged an ecstatic hug. As Vogue Runway reported: “The last look was a metallic silver poncho with “Follow the Yellow Brick” written on a breast patch. When he posted a picture of that moment on his Instagram, the caption read, “You can do it too.”
Kanye West and Virgil Abloh embrace at the close of the latter’s debut collection for Louis Vuitton Men, for spring 2019. Photo: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty
Virgil Abloh was born September 30, 1980, and died on November 28, 2021. He is survived by his wife Shannon, and children Lowe, 8, and Grey, 5 as well as his parents Nee and Eunice and sister Edwina.
Read Next: “It represents Off-White ideals”: Virgil Abloh on Casting Gigi, Bella, and Yolanda Hadid at Off-White
Originally published on Vogue.com

Eye Spy at Couture Fall 2021

Eye Spy at Couture Fall 2021

Eyes dressed up in colorful hues had a moment during the recent winter 2021 couture season.
For Armani Privé Couture, Linda Cantello swathed models’ eyelids in an eggshell blue.
“Mr. Armani wanted something playful and optimistic, so the idea of pastels on the eyes was both a wink to classic couture but also using pastels in a chic way and moving away from omnipresent dark eye makeup,” said the international makeup artist for Giorgio Armani Beauty. “The blue was Mr. Armani’s idea, and it did have me stumped as he said he wanted ‘the blue of Italian sugar bags.’ Luckily, I have an Italian assistant, so that helped a lot.”
To conjure up ideas for the beauty look for Alexis Mabille’s couture presentation, the designer presented makeup artist Lloyd Simmonds the clothes and set for the video and photos.

“My first reaction was that I needed to create something graphic and sharp to unify the different geometries of the clothes,” said Simmonds. “Secondly, I needed to use color in a simple way to intensify each girl in the brightly colored background.

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“I thought it would be good to use eyeliner to tell the story,” Simmonds continued. “So I created a classic eyeliner shape, but instead of black, I used two different, contrasting colors to create that classic winged eyeliner. Each girl had her own colors that worked with her part of the collection. I wanted to keep it simple, modern and relatable, but still impactful, to play off the extravagant shapes of the collection.”
Peepers popped at other brands’ displays this season, too, such as Off-White, Schiaparelli, RVDK Ronald Van Der Kemp and Viktor & Rolf.
For more, see:
Kerby Jean-Raymond Makes History With Pyer Moss Couture Debut
The Future of Makeup, According to Anastasia Soare, Sir John Barnett and Laney Crowell
Makeup Artist Violette Teams Up With Bisous Skateboards

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