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How Off-White is Becoming Fashion's Hottest Label

Picture of Jill Di Donato
Fashion Editor
Updated: 16 April 2018
Off-White c/o VIRGIL ABLOH™ is one of the most buzzed about labels in fashion. But how did Off-White become such an international sensation?

Abloh, who trained as an architect at the Illinois Institute of Technology, has said that he has an appreciation for a Renaissance as well as The Bauhaus aesthetic. Born in 1980, at a time when pop-culture was resplendent with fine art, the emergence of streetwear, hip-hop, and cosmopolitan bohemianism, Abloh was able to hone his aptitude for mixing different facets of culture in a way that feels relevant.

His design foundation is also deeply rooted in youth culture, which might explain some of his success staying fresh and relevant. However, much of that design philosophy is grounded in the designer’s disavowal of fashion cycles. Instead, he drops products that he deems are in the “now.” Respectively, the meaning of Off-White is that it’s an aesthetic that inhabits the grey space that is neither black nor white, but rather off-white.

Another way Off-White catapulted to the top of fashion’s hot list was with a series of collaborations. From Jimmy Choo to Nike, Abloh curated collections with luxury and streetwear brands alike—much akin to the wildly popular Supreme x Louis Vuitton collection, which debuted at Paris Haute Couture Week last year.

© Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock
© Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock | Rihanna out and about in New York City wearing Off-White X Jimmy Choo Shoes

In addition to collaborations, Abloh also releases Off-White merchandise at a wide range of prices.

You can order online or specialty retailers, like Dover Street Market, even though all products are merchandised in Milan.

The SS18 womenswear collection (below) is a mixture of athleisure and high fashion, with most outfits priced at around $1,500 to $2,000, which is on par with many ready-to-wear labels.

Books, posters, phone cases, and other Off-White accessories are available, but sell out quickly, as these items are cheaply priced (in comparison to the rest of the label) allowing people to get their hands on something that has been deemed so cool.