Oh, and then there is the product. From collaborations with Grog (manufacturers of *ahem * street art pens), to Paris’ most hyped runway shows, Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh is responsible for both creating the current merch-obsessed fashion climate and for maintaining it. The brand walks the fine line (getting finer) between streetwear and luxury fashion, and has been pivotal to the shift we’ve seen towards urban and athletic trends as even fashion’s most established houses have started to produce street-inspired collections. Nothing exists in a vacuum, and Off-White’s success has been very much part of an industry-wide phenomenon. See: Demna Gvasala’s Balenciaga and Vetements, Gosha Rubchinisky, Gucci, Givenchy and Valentino.
Where Abloh and his contemporaries have led, others have followed, and no-one wants a poor imitation. We like to think of the creative director as a street-style savant that has opened up the previously closed doors of luxury fashion to redefine it for a younger, modern audience. Much in the way that social media has democratised the way in which we share and receive information (for better or for worse), Off-White and its high-fashion counterparts are symptomatic of a younger audience’s demand for style that is inclusive, wearable and innovative. God, we hate that word, but here it makes sense. Get your 3.0s while you still can.