Virgil’s fashion democracy.
The Devil Wears Prada taught us some important insider details about the fashion industry. And while Andy’s misadventures and troubles spelling “Gabbana” made for a great film, what we didn’t take away was insight on the realities of being a fashion designer.
Virgil Abloh is almost like the Andy Sachs of the industry. So while in Florence for Pitti Uomo, Abloh sat down with Sportswear International to discuss his modern approach to fashion, and what it’s like being an industry outsider.
“I have a very particular viewpoint on politics,” said the Off-White founder and head designer. “It is from a young perspective. I feel helpless, but I realize, that I am not helpless if I raise my voice…I didn’t understand the fashion industry when I was younger, so I wanted to start a brand that is more democratic than other high fashion labels and only made for the young consumer.”
While many high fashion labels may seem inaccessible and, frankly, ancient, Off-White offers a selection of garments that have been hand picked for the needs of an ever-changing demographic.
“With Off-White, I want to reach the generation of the millennials,” said Abloh. “They have different needs and different cultural codes: They wear a T-shirt or a hoodie like a formal shirt or jacket. So my approach is marked by a conceptual and deconstructive attitude, questioning the conventions of the industry and refusing to take the traditions of tailoring and construction for granted.”
When the conversation transgressed into a meditation on Abloh’s use of a quote about being in “the wrong place” from Pretty Women at his first Paris show, the American designer went on to reveal his vision.
“I wanted to implement my subculture in high fashion. This idea gave me the motivation to make the concept for Off-White. And to be honest: Three years ago, no one could tell, if street fashion would last or not.”
For Virgil Abloh’s full interview with Sportswear International, head over to their website.