January 23, 2016 therebelsociety

ID Magazine | virgil abloh’s remixed world

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This article is a couple of months old, but it is still a dope article nonetheless.

Virgil Abloh is Yeezus’s most trusted disciple and a prophet to the talent of today and tomorrow. His endeavors feel like an infinite tumblr scroll, an ever evolving feed of collections, artwork, installations and performances. “Any great creator likes to be busy creating. For me, it’s the natural state that my brain works at,” he says over Skype, smiling into his iPhone camera. He is circling his New York hotel room, taking a rare breather from work. Virgil has been busy recently, even by his own standards, working on the Yeezy presentation and Skepta’s mixtape drop in New York. He’s also presented and received massive critical acclaim for his first womenswear catwalk show in Paris, been involved in Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak performance in LA, played various DJ sets across Europe and the US as Flat White, and has no doubt dreamed up hundreds of ideas, some of which are already a reality. Virgil is the bonding agent that makes the good shit stick. “I’m just doing it because I like to stay busy and creative. If I run into someone in a club or during the day at brunch, I’m always thinking in my head, ‘Man, let’s do something together.’ I love developing ideas. Ultimately, this became my world by accident. Trying to avoid a day job by having ideas… 30 ideas a day.”

Virgil is a true creative polymath whose influences and interests span far beyond the runway, stage and speakers. How would Virgil describe himself? “It’s weird. Growing up in Chicago, I used to think a designer was something that I was not. A Designer, with a capital ‘D,’ because the great ones are on a pedestal, you can’t see yourself in them,” he admits, modestly. “So, I [shy] away from giving myself a title but I do like the idea of picking ‘creative director.’ One day, I’d love for someone to refer to me as an artist.” Who would bet against him? Hungry to emulate his idol, one-of-a-kind baller Michael Jordan, he has an insatiable appetite to improve game-by-game, season-by-season. “I challenge myself every day,” he says. “In a way, I feel like we’re living through a modern renaissance. With the internet, a new generation of designers have the tools to create something great, and of course we’re comparing our output to that of our idols.” It’s this hunger to be great that constantly propels Virgil and his peers forward. “It pushes us to evolve in a clever way. Ultimately, what I’m trying to do is validate the genre that I’m put in, which is streetwear.” Virgil is one of the reasons why the industry is finally beginning to take streetwear seriously, so seriously in fact, that OFF-WHITE was a finalist in this year’s LVMH Prize. “To me, it’s the highest accolade that I could have ever asked for in a career. Some kid from Chicago that learned about fashion through shopping at Louis Vuitton, who then started putting out Pyrex 23 T-shirts which ended up evolving into OFF-WHITE, to then be validated by LVMH in any way, was groundbreaking for me,” he explains. His is quite the journey, a new American dream. Despite the plaudits and accolades, Virgil is still fighting, still pushing. “Street wear is like disco. When it started, disco was cool but the term didn’t age well, and neither did the genre. All of us who are classified as streetwear, it’s up to us how it’s defined and that’s why I hope the evolution of OFF-WHITE is so apparent. The definition of OFF-WHITE, it’s the grey area between two concepts, streetwear and ‘proper’ fashion.” With menswear remixing vintage Royal Mail uniforms and a recent catwalk debut in Paris for his womenswear, spring/summer 16 is another leap forward.

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