Next-gen fashion: Off-White takes streetwear to another level in Paris show

It’s the duty of young designers to bring something new to the table, says brand’s head, Virgil Abloh - who’s also an architect and creative director for Kanye West

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 January, 2016, 12:25pm
UPDATED : Friday, 22 January, 2016, 12:25pm

Virgil Abloh’s fashion brand, Off-White, is all about streetwear – and for some people that’s a problem.

“Streetwear is my gateway to Paris,” says Abloh, a statement borne out by his autumn/winter 2016 menswear collection in Paris, and one that says a lot about the fashion industry’s latest challenge.

With the biggest luxury fashion labels struggling to remain exclusive, designers need to reinvent the stuff fashion dreams are made of – and that’s just what Abloh is doing at Off-White.

Backstage after his show, during which he unfurled a line of men’s luxe outerwear and urban staples with deconstructed elements, as well as eye-catching screen prints and hues, Abloh said Off-White is emblematic of today’s youth culture that mixes and matches styles and influences and breaks stereotypes.

The scope of his work – he is a fashion designer, but also a graphic designer, an architect, and last but not least creative director for Kanye West – makes it impossible to pin a label on him; one thing that can be said is that he is very much of his own generation.

“It’s a way of thinking, a lifestyle. A chapter which I believe is the evolution of fashion, a post-ready-to-wear fashion that fully embraces streetwear,” he says. “I respect the heritage, but I also want to break the rules in a credible way. It’s the duty of young designers to bring something new to the table.”