This week, Virgil Abloh presented his Spring/Summer 2018 collection for Off-White, his street-wear and street-wise label, to eager fans at Pitti Uomo. Said to be Abloh’s most important collection to date, the presentation included politically-charged poems that were projected onto the walls of the building. The text which was re-imagined by artist, Jenny Holzer by incorporating light and bold typography dealt with the socio-political crises in both Syria and Palestine. In a recent interview with WWD, Abloh described the show as “highly influenced by the current time that we are in and I think there are relevant issues in terms of politics and the young generation versus the preceding generations..”
The collection titled, Temperature, was inspired by Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury’s controversial novel we all had to read (or pretended to read) in high school. Models charged the dimly-lit runway in a primarily neutral palette of blacks and whites. Abloh’s elevated street style aesthetic was present in exaggerated collars, unexpected zip-off details, and belted waists. Pops of oranges and blues were introduced with over-sized plastic bags, hoods and puffer vests all resembling elements of life preserving gear- a theme that ran through the collection as the designer’s nod to the many lives lost of refugees crossing the Mediterranean in escape of warfare.
Abloh, who is the son of an immigrant from Ghana, undoubtedly feels the closeness of today’s political climate to home. “In this climate, coming off recent elections, I have a voice,” the designer told Vogue in response to the collection… “In my work, I react.”
All Images from PittiImagine.com. See the full Off-White Collection, here