Off-White has stores dotted around the world in Singapore, Japan, China, the U.K. and South Korea but not in the U.S. — until now.
From Dec. 8 through Jan. 29, the streetwear brand is adopting an address across the street from Maxfield, the West Hollywood, Calif.-based emporium that mixes art and fashion, as the location of its first stateside shop. Stepping into the second spot in Maxfield’s series of pop-ups, Off-White founder Virgil Abloh is moving pieces from his furniture line, as well as a vintage-inspired capsule collection he created for the retailer, into the space vacated by Fear of God. In tribute to Tommy Perse, Maxfield’s founder who once used the nook as his personal gallery, he also plans to display home goods from Perse’s collection.
“It feels like an estate sale,” Abloh said. “It’s an updated concept to global retail. The concept is city-specific. People shop in different ways in different urban environments. They shop different ways online. Something I’m trying to usher in is this new approach. It’s no longer the McDonald’s or Starbucks mentality — to make one thing exist in one way in the world.”
That ambiance of found one-offs also flows into the capsule collection. He recognizes the irony that Off-White has been around for only three years, a toddler compared to fashion legends such as Maxfield, which was established in 1969. He’s tweaked the concept of an estate sale to select key styles from his past collections and subject them to vintage washes.
“It’s basically inspired by [the flea market at] the Rose Bowl,” he said. “I’ve taken the garments that are favorites from the past. I aged them to be 30 years past.”
Among the 21 styles for men and 15 for women are $92 shiny socks, $240 black mesh shorts printed with the brand’s signature diagonal lines on the back, $499 chinos bearing images of a warrior on the knees and $1,515 camouflage military jackets also screen-printed with diagonal lines. The priciest items are a men’s housecoat accented with photorealistic prints of roses and a women’s ripped denim maxiskirt; each retail for $2,218.
The styles would fit within the blend of luxury, vintage and curios at Maxfield, which represents more than a place where Abloh can unveil his vision for U.S. retail. It’s also an inspiration for him.
“When I started my concept, I thought of a space like Maxfield and how my concept could work in it,” he said. “This is the first time I’ve started a retail concept for the U.S. It was really important for me to do it in a layered, creative way.”
A fan of that corner of West Hollywood, which is also home to Chrome Hearts and H. Lorenzo, Abloh is open to the idea of finding a permanent retail site for Off-White in Los Angeles.
“I’m using this as a key testing ground to debut an idea, to see how it works, to see how it lives. Maybe in the future it’ll be the same exact thing.”