Virgil Abloh, fashion’s ‘it man’, creative consultant to Kanye West, DJ, furniture designer, Nike collaborator and cultural influencer had a Chicago homecoming Thursday to launch his unisex Off-White Shock Waves capsule collection exclusive to Saks Fifth Avenue.
Abloh’s street-meets-high-fashion label Off-White has garnered rave reviews and reached a cult-favorite status, and this sporty collection of hoodies, track pants and super-soft tees blends his streetwear aesthetic with a luxe-meets-casual vibe. Most pieces in the collection are emblazoned with sunny palm tree graphics and colors inspired by the 1950s billboards of Southern Florida.
The 37-year-old globe-trotting Abloh lives in Chicago, bases his Off-White brand in Milan and shows the collection in Paris. He regularly appears on the pages of Vogue and GQ and has described himself as “creatively schizophrenic.’’
“If you asked me to design a whole collection today, I would do it. Because I have no shortage of ideas” said Abloh. “That’s my creative pace, and it’s not slowing. I’m always up for a small, specific capsule collection — one that lives only at Sak’s — I’m up for it because it is dialogue with my main collection.
“As brands get bigger — and remember, I grew up shopping on this street, on Michigan Avenue, going to every store, up and down — I love the idea of challenging myself to think of specific lines that exist within Off-White. Like, if you come to Chicago and you come here, you are rewarded — because it’s a different Off-White than the Off-White at Barneys. I don’t care about revenue. I’m more intrigued.”
“I think that (unisex) is very on brand for Off-White. A lot of women already buy from his collection for men,” said Sunny Diego, vice president, divisional merchandise manager at Saks. “I love this whole mixing and matching of the genders. Men are having a fashion moment right now, and Saks has been at the forefront of the whole luxury-street-designer movement. With Virgil and Off-White, it’s so great to see a brand that not only has buzz around it, but Virgil is so artistic, and it shows in the collection. It’s very of the moment, and it’s really the new luxury.”
Christopher Borrelli of the Chicago Tribune contributed.