Posted by Stephan Moskovic | May 12th, 2015

The LVMH 8:
Pt.6 Off-White

On May 22nd, LVMH will announce the winner of their 2015 Young Fashion Designer Prize from a pool of 8 finalists – Arthur Arbesser, Coperni, Craig Green, Faustine Steinmetz, Jacquemus, Marques’Almeida, Off-White, and Vetements. Started in 2013, the prize was launched to champion standout talent and foster their labels. Winning means getting a seal of approval from a jury of fashion’s foremost designers and industry professionals like Nicolas Ghesquiere, Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, and LVMH’s own Delphine Arnault. Aside from being recognized by the industry, the winner receives a 300,000 euro grant and a year’s worth of expert support from the foundation. Of course, success in the industry for these designers isn’t reliant on winning, but it certainly sets the stage.

Presenting Models.com’s exclusive week-long spotlight on each of the designers in anticipation of their final presentation at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris and the announcement of the winner on May 22nd.

The LVMH 8

Series editors: Irene Ojo-Felix and Steven Yatsko
Photography: Steven Yatsko for Models.com
Stylist: William Graper @ The Wall Group
Art Direction: Stephan Moskovic
Hair: Takayoshi Tsukisawa
Makeup: Kim Weber
Production: Jazmin Alvarez
Photo assistant: Jason Acton
Manicurist: Natalie Pavloski @ LMC Worldwide
Portrait courtesy of the designer

Text by Irene Ojo-Felix

Model:
Irina Shnitman / IMG

Fashion, music, and street culture all align in Virgil Abloh’s Off-White label. The Chicago native stands as the only American-born candidate for the coveted LVMH Young Designer Prize this year and his roots in street wear run deep. From his previous Pyrex Vision line to his current role as creative director to Kanye West to DJ-ing around the World, he’s been able to create a cult following amongst the hypebeast set. Yet, for his foray into ready-to-wear, Abloh stresses that Off-White focuses more on the juxtaposition of the unexpected – where the free-styling nature of the street intersects with meticulous refinement.

“ I love to embrace culture as it happens, in real time. The evolution into Off-White is a dialogue between a modern couple. ”

For the Spring 2015 season, Abloh titled his line “Nebraska” describing it it as “an exploration into mid-western cheerleading collegiate spirit.” It’s a multi-layered reference that mimics the multi-layered nature of the looks. The designer focused specifically “on abstracting pleating and reinterpreting it on skirts, shorts and pants” for an end result that showed an evolution of his aesthetic. It was a showing that relied heavy on the interchangeability of his men and women’s fashion lines and how they both influence each other. Abloh describes Off-White as “a dialogue between a modern couple.”

So what exactly is an American designer doing in Italy? Abloh explains being drawn to the Milanese’s expertise on luxury textiles and craftsmanship, “I’m seeking to make a trademark of the brand. Italy has a deep history in manufacturing clothing that I respect and love to work within.” If won, the LVMH prize money would “go towards expanding the concept. My background is architecture and a main focus of the brand is the lifestyle compliment, such as furniture design.” An ambitious feat but nothing the forward slash, career juggler can’t tackle.

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One Comment to “The LVMH 8: Pt.6 Off-White”

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