Few companies are as prolific on Instagram as Off-White, which operates 31 independent accounts for its products, stores, and inspirations. Today, that number becomes 32 with the launch of @off__white__seasons, an account dedicated to the “making of” the brand’s collections. It launches with women’s and men’s resort 2021, styled by Ibrahim Kamara and photographed by Andrea Artemisio. “Something about this feels more me in a way,” says Virgil Abloh over the phone from his home in Chicago. “If I were a 17-year-old kid and I wanted to learn how to get into fashion, all I would want is a documentary or an Instagram account where I could see how the idea comes to life because then I could take that and interpret it how I would want to. So this account to me is going to be the home of future seasons; it will be the place where we can story-tell and show our process, thereby letting people into the DNA of Off-White, not just the surface of Off-White.”
The account—which is already populated with look book images, behind-the-scenes photos, audio recordings of Abloh’s many phone calls, samples and test products, and WhatsApp messages—is in line with fashion’s recent move to be more transparent with its creative processes. Just as Jonathan Anderson made a show in a box and handed the mic to Loewe’s craftspeople for the brand’s spring 2021 menswear show, and John Galliano invited Nick Knight to document every step in Maison Margiela’s artisanal couture collection, so is Abloh inviting us to peer even deeper into his world.
As the designer tells it, giving up a runway show format—for now, at least—is not just about showing the fashion community how the collection and its imagery is made, but providing a resource for a younger generation of aspiring designers. “I made Off-White to be modern, and to be investigative, and to try to find new ways,” he says. “You know, me and my demographic, we’re sort of self-taught. We’ve bent fashion to be what we want it to be. I feel like this type of presentation to me is more fulfilling than doing a runway show that only 800 people can see.”
As @off__white__seasons evolves, Abloh explains, it will continue to showcase his processes, as well as spotlight his collaborators. Stylist Ibrahim Kamara, who worked on the resort collections, is someone Abloh is especially proud to have brought into his team. “I really appreciate and champion his skill set. We’re working together on a number of projects,” Abloh says.
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