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March 26, 2019

OFF-WHITE NOW

The world of Virgil Abloh—or at least part of it

Breaking up is hard to do. Even harder? Maintaining multiple relationships at once. Such is the challenge before CEO and founder of Off-White, Virgil Abloh. In addition to a CV that includes designer, entrepreneur, DJ, and consultant to the likes of Jay Z and Kanye West, he’s tacked on artistic director of menswear at Louis Vuitton.

The current Spring/Summer collection marked the start of his great divide: one foot in the serious world of runway at LV and another on the street(wear) he’s paved in gold. Before the Off-White runway, fans were curious if the collection would suffer in the shadow of a larger, logo-monogrammed Parisian sibling. Not so, assured Abloh.

After spending the last couple of seasons dipping his toes in the suiting and formal world, the designer returned to his streetwear roots for spring. The collection is dominated by denim, tees, draped coats, and well, more denim. The laser-focused collection (only 29 looks walked the runway) highlights the youthfully energetic things Abloh does best—leaving his more experimental side able to roam free for Louis Vuitton.

Highlights include denim hand-stitched and distressed by New York magnate-slash-alley cat Ev Bravado, and a ribbed sweater emblazoned with the one and only Bart Simpson. Off-White signatures—graphic stripes, plaid, camo, and “LABELS”—abound, weaving through the collection in ways both familiar and new.

Following Pre-Spring’s Impressionist moment, the mood was softer and filled with art references. (Hello, Miss Mona Lisa.) There’s denim jackets with the color scheme and pattern of looking at a sunset through a hazy kaleidoscope, pink puffer jackets that unzip and shed like a cocoon, and very now camp shirts patterned with Impressionist artworks. Once found in museum, they’re now covering your navel. All of this to say that Abloh is proving—even with the giant task of helming Louis Vuitton—there’s plenty of creativity and love to go around. —Dylan Kennemur 

The Details: Shop Off-White at Traffic LA Men’s and Women’s, 1608 Main Street. 

Above | Off-White Off-Court Hi-Top, $750; Checkered Shirt, $780; Mona Lisa Tee, $350.