Behind the Success of Off-White

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Virgil Abloh’s Off-White is one of the main brands globally shaping the fashion industry right now. Since its launch in 2014, the brand is one of fashion’s newest frontrunners.

Allround creative Virgil Abloh has a bachelor degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in architecture. After working for an architecture firm for two years, Abloh thought it was time to shift his focus to fashion and started working as Kanye West’s creative director in 2009. Including responsibilities like tour merchandise, album covers and stage designs, Abloh was the creative foreman in Kanye West’s small circle.

Abloh launched his first fashion brand, Pyrex Vision, in 2012 and made his debut in the world of high-fashion. Pyrex’s collection basically consisted of Champion and Ralph Lauren items screen-printed with the brand’s name and logo. After shutting down the brand in 2013, Virgil Abloh launched Off-White in late 2014, continuing where he left of with Pyrex.

The brand quickly attracted a global following, including celebrities like Rihanna, Beyoncé and Travis Scott. Next to hosting runway shows during the Paris and Milan Fashion Weeks, the brand is sold at numerous stockists across the globe like Colette Paris and Hong Kong based I.T group. In 2015, Virgil Abloh was one of the finalists for the LVMH Prize, and was the only American designer to make the list.

Abloh’s designs are a collision of an edgy street aesthetic with luxury level quality and positioning in the market. With this, the brand knows how to attract consumers who think streetwear is just as much fashion as clothing from traditional luxury brands. It’s the type of clothing we can all wear on a daily basis, stepping away from couture that can’t be worn out on the streets.

The aesthetic of this streetwear-inspired, Milan-based brand is especially appealing to a younger generation of fashion consumers. This because Abloh has the ability to translate his perception of ‘right now’ into everything he does, from deejaying to writing to designing furniture. Virgil Abloh doesn’t step back from telling us what is happening in the world, and his collections often have a societal layer to it. Next to being inspired by youth-culture, Abloh also is a part of it, knowing best how to communicate with the generation of the future.