Virgil Abloh x Levi’s : a major collaboration
DJ and founder of the Off-White label, Virgil Abloh has collaborated with Levi’s to create a capsule collection of 11 ultra-desirable pieces that perfectly combine modernity with authenticity.
More than just another lifestyle brand, Virgil Abloh, emeritus DJ and the creative mind behind megastar Kanye West, has used his Off-White label right from the off in 2013 as a terrain for reflecting on the fabric of desire, fashion cycles and the production of symbolic value in contemporary culture. To this American, born in Chicago 35 years ago, streetwear is a natural language which through his men’s and women’s collection shown in he explores resonances, values and processes.
This is how Off-White upturns the founding mechanisms of fashion by appropriating signs produced by sub-cultures blissfully ignorant of their meaning. Virgil Abloh specialises in quotes, homage and hijacking : the North Face logo and Grateful Dead t-shirts are sprinkled throughout his collections. The basis behind his reasoning? Instead of wanting to pillage and imitate what they dream of, today’s generation happily juggles between luxury and streetwear, assuming cult labels, signs of recognition and symbols (an attitude embodied by the brilliant Vetements runway show and its collaboration with Juicy Couture, Champion, Comme Des Garçons…). Just one requirement for all: authenticity. A quality with which the Levi’s brand, inventor of jeans, is unquestionable endowed.
Today's attitude is all about looking for the most authentic product instead of falling for a copy.
For his spring-summer 2016 womenswear show Virgil Abloh gave us Levi’s jeans subtly reworked with reconsidered boyish cuts. “Anybody can do jeans but no one else will reach the same heights as the people who actually invented jeans” he explained back then, “Whenever I go to the Select café in New York, where lots of stylists hang out, I’ve noticed they always wear Levi’s. Today’s attitude is all about looking for the most authentic product instead of falling for a copy.”
In the wake of this promising beginning Virgil Abloh today is presenting a capsule collection conceived in collaboration with Levi’s. Or more precisely with Levi’s Made & Crafted, the brand’s line dedicated to conceiving the future classics of tomorrow. “This capsule collection stems from Virgil’s own intellectual take on streetwear”, comments Jonathan Cheung, design director at Levi’s. “The mix of familiar elements, the authenticity of Levi’s and an absolute modernity imbues this project with a very particular energy.” By hybridising several Levi’s classics - in particular the legendary 501 with its perfect proportions - or by adding blocks of pure colour, Virgil Abloh has devised a modern way to wear them with cuts that highlight the timeless aura of Levi’s jeans and jackets. The 11-piece collection is now available.
By Delphine Roche
The mix of familiar elements, the authenticity of Levi's and an absolute modernity imbues this project with a very particular energy.