Exclusive: First Saudi interview with virgil abloh

January 23, 2019
Mariam Nihal

Saudi Gazette

This is a story about a man, who started out with a dream and now has the power to change the entire fashion industry, making history. His streetwear journey began in 2012 with a short-lived streetwear brand Pyrex Vision but it was the founding of Off-White in 2013 that really made the world stop and take notice.

The movement encouraged artistic freedom, resisted hierarchies and sparked conversations with insiders and the misfits.

It was an unimaginable hybrid; one that originated from streetwear yet seemed like it belonged to high fashion. While the world was preparing for an interdisciplinary future, Abloh was working with it.

He hoped that the world would evolve into a more diverse and open-minded place.

And soon enough, history was made when Abloh landed the top menswear job at the world’s biggest luxury brand at LVMH last year.

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago will host an upcoming extensive exhibition celebrating Abloh in June 2019. In between designing, DJ’ing and artistic ventures, Abloh dropped an exclusive Off-white capsule collection on Mr Porter recently. In a first ever interview to a Saudi publication, Abloh described the Off-White guy as the “one who reaches many different personas. It’s that young guy at the skate park, it’s the businessman, the artist. I can describe him as youthful or possesses open-mindedness of the youth – a product of the future.”

You will also notice the heavy use of quotation marks on everything he designs, which are one of the many tools that Abloh uses to validate the subject matter and emphasize irony. Born in the 80’s, he represents the generation born with new information and communication technologies (NICT). Framing the grey area or ‘the area between black and white’, his Off-White projects come from- a space for his “grey zone”- a thought process that alludes to and alters the notion of dichotomy.

The debut 44-piece collection titled “Modern Office”, a revisionist dress code of traditional and modern sportswear was inspired by the “besuited business man and that young skater hanging out in the park on the Lower East Side. Those two worlds gracefully colliding into one,” he said. The collection interprets the collection’s overarching themes of flux, evolution and modernity into a synergy of fabrics- wool, felt, cotton and heavy canvas, muted and tonal colors, treatment and visuals. ““Modern Office” harmonizes classic business attire with streetwear, making the collection its own special entity that the youth and older generations can both understand,” Abloh told Saudi Gazette. “Working with the Mr Porter team was incredible. Mr Porter is one of the top online retail destinations for men, but has a cool added twist. It provides so much more for the consumer – from style advice, to The Mr Porter Post, and weekly online magazine, The Journal. It’s not just a destination to buy clothes, you are given a creative experience making everything much more personal.” When asked about key pieces, he chose: “The Work trench linen coat with tonal embroidered Arrow logo, allover- logo print washed cotton heavy canvas jacket, wide-leg linen pant with tonal Arrow logo, allover-logo silk camp collar and low 3.0 leather sneaker are key for this collection. It fully embraces my goal to unify classic styles with a cool, youthful edge.”

According to the Lyst Index last year, Off-White surpassed Gucci and Balenciaga at the top of the leaderboard for the first time. Off-White is now “the most popular brand in the world”.

Check out the collection on

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