Call it augmented reality. Like Demna Gvasalia at Vetements, another fledgling label with a cultlike following, Virgil Abloh sees his Off-White collection as a riff on what people are already wearing. He grounded his pre-fall collection in men’s wear staples, tailored for feminine proportions.
The designer, who is also Kanye West’s creative director, tweaked a long trenchcoat by adding a high belt to create an Empire waistline, and adorning the sleeves with a subtle frill. Bell-bottomed cargo pants were paired with a cropped top to draw attention to the waist.
“To me, it’s always been about a safe, eclectic mix, because I’m sort of betting on the style of the time, but I’m just offering it as a twist in my point of view,” said Abloh, who was one of eight finalists for the LVMH Prize last year.
A good example of his Insta-friendly, crowd-sourced approach is the brand’s collaboration this season with rising Los Angeles-based streetwear label Midnight Studios on T-shirts and sweats spliced from two mismatched halves. The remix approach feels undeniably current.
With Gvasalia taking the helm at Balenciaga, Abloh is already picturing a takeover of French luxury. “My dream job is to [be creative director at] a house one day…but make it young,” he said. “I see that as the future of fashion.”