by Stefano Roncato - MFFashion
“I believe in fashion that becomes art.” Starting with these words, Virgil Abloh and his Off-White collection took to the runway at Palazzo Pitti in Florence. With a live performance from the Florence Opera and maxi projections by Jenny Holzer, the artist who has previously collaborated with Helmut Lang. A runway show that framed an aesthetic collision between tailoring and street culture. “State yourself”, is the second key concept from the millennial orientated collection, which starts by distorting pieces from the classic menswear wardrobe. Exaggerated tailored trousers, jackets that become a means for experimentation: loop holes on the sides and zips up the back. Shirts with long belts at the ready to change up the silhouette in a cinch. From small phrases to messages and logos. The game of transparencies, doubling up pieces, and citing an imaginary religious intervention.
INTERVIEW/Virgil Abloh, designing for millennials.
By Stefano Roncato - MFF Magazine for Fashion
Leggi l'articolo in italiano: http://bit.ly/2t8KsO5
What is your aim?
Let’s talk about the Off-White creative studio: our goal is to present a younger opinion of fashion to the industry. I think menswear is more for consumers than the industry. I think about millennials, what is culturally relevant for them. We are based in Milan, something we have united with a modern american lifestyle approach.
How did you get there?
I’ve always been a fan of fashion, from when I first started going to the shows. For millennials customers, this show is really important because it shows them a new combination of tailoring. Not just a literal mix of clothes, but how to wear them and how to wear them in a variety of different ways. Style yourself.
You also collaborated with Jenny Holzer…
I chose Piazza Pitti, and to show at night. I am an architect and I believe in fashion becoming art. My clothes have a message, it’s not just a runway show.
What are the new generation of millennials like?
They don’t have a leader. I design from their point of view. Before fashion used to tell us what to wear, today it tells us what they want to wear.
In this show is there any reference to Donald Trump?
I’m an artist, not a politician.
Artist, designer, how do you define yourself?
A little bit like the millennial spirit, one day you’ve got no profile, the next you’re a stylist and an art director. You don’t wait for a title to tell people who you are. I am a creative person and in the different projects I’ve followed, I’ve used a variety of different media. I’m an artist, in my ego system I can even use sculpture to communicate something. In 2019, there’s going to be an exhibition in Chicago that will engage with a variety of mediums.
Is there an ironic touch to your work?
I love fine art, but what’s important is the way in which that’s communicated to people who don’t have a profound understanding of it. I like to think about what Marcel Duchamp did, which predicted irony. We have an instrument that lets us do it.
What do you think of the appropriation phenomenon that many people are talking about?
The world is a wheel that turns, many young designers don’t even know certain names. The starting point is the clothes, everything starts from there.
What do you think when you see copies of your work?
If someone replicates something it is because they are trying to improve on existing ideas. I’m inspired by everything, I always want to create more. I don’t keep my ideas close to my chest.