Off-WhiteTM led by its founder and creative director Virgil Abloh hosted a groundbreaking, globally-interconnected digital event February 2 to reveal the label’s Spring/Summer 2021 collection. The get-together is dubbed Imaginary TV, and the interface—custom-built for this unique showcase—features an interactive online complex, complete with a series of special performances.
Off-WhiteTM’s virtual landscape (which remains online post-event) offers a myriad selection of channels and networks, just like a television set. Each serves a specific purpose in demonstrating the concepts behind the collection. Milan-based and international performers expressing a range of artistic practices have contributed to this electronic experience, mixing fashion with frontier-pushing digital innovation. Ultimately, Abloh envisioned this space as a way to contemporarily reflect Off-WhiteTM’s pillars: Imaginary TV captures a universal approach to creativity by promoting inclusivity and pushing the envelope in how the industry, consumers and fans alike interact with one another.
Products highlighted in the digital rooms include: the Off-WhiteTM x Air Jordan collaboration, eyewear, Off-Active athletic clothing, the “Out-of-Office” sneaker, the Spring/Summer 2021 collection’s overall stories and the launch of a new accessory called The Burrow Bag. The Burrow Bag is an evolution of Abloh’s “Swiss” and “meteor shower” concepts. It debuts with a perforated shoulder bag shape, characterized by luxurious materials and handcrafted finesse. This punch-holed graphic treatment is becoming more and more established in the Off-WhiteTM aesthetic canon. (The shoulder bag in Imaginary TV is available at www.off—white.com and www.farfetch.com.)
The rest of the collection, titled Adam is Eve, will be available in three product drops between February and May. This staggered delivery demonstrates Off-WhiteTM’s disruptive new business model of presenting collections and immediately following these unveilings with the first drop, while the rest of the lineup is released throughout the season.
Abloh has created a gender-blended lineup. This is the first time that Off-WhiteTM has merged its menswear and womenswear design studios
Abloh has created a gender-blended lineup that remains optimistic and idea-diverse, rife with juxtaposed thoughts and interchangeable elements. Length, volume, color and cut are all fluid. This is the first time that Off-WhiteTM has merged its menswear and womenswear design studios, creating a liquidity and a common ground between the two. Print is minimal, but when used, it flourishes; tones are solid and blocked, cut out and lengthened across heightening silhouettes.
“The idea of Imaginary TV stems from a modern poetic vision for, and of, the evermore virtual world. It takes a universal and all-inclusive approach. I want to connect and generate a global network, and bring together creativity while catalyzing a range of emotions,” says Virgil Abloh. “We’re living in a world and at a time that is already largely digitally native. Within the collection itself, I wanted to capture what it is to be human at this very moment. Conundrum is OK, glitches are OK, duality is OK, and a dissolution of norms is OK.”
Within Imaginary TV, the Spring/Summer 2021 collection is highlighted by live performances and live activations in Italy. These installations and engagements comprised a varied mix of disciplines, lensing different cultures, humanity, artistry, a sense of celebration and self-expression. Talents include Michele Rizzo, Graffiti Milano, Caterina Barbieri, a group of free-climbing athletes, Binta Diaw, Fabio Cherstich, Damiano Afrira and Off-WhiteTM’s own skilled artisans.
Imaginary TV also presents international performances at various slots throughout the day. Abloh enlisted the help of an international assortment of talent across time zones, furthering this notion of proximity and connection across time and distance. These multidisciplinary talents include: Wallette, Ash Lauryin, Domi and JD Beck, Letizia Galloni, Prince Gyasi, Mdou Mocatr, Liang Biying, and Kiri Okuyama.
Established in 2013, Off-WhiteTM is defining the grey area between black and white as a color. Under the brand name, seasonal collections of men’s and women’s clothing, objects, furniture, and publications are articulating a current culture vision. With a design studio based in Milan, Italy, the label harnesses the history and craftsmanship within the country yet offers a global perspective in terms of design and trends. With a clear vision of splicing the reality of how clothes are worn and the artistic expression of high-fashion, creative director and designer Virgil Abloh explores concepts in the realm of youth culture in the contemporary context.
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