Off-White Looks Towards a Future Without Virgil

Off-White Looks Towards a Future Without Virgil

The fashion world is still coming to grips with the gaping void left by the sudden and untimely passing of Virgil Abloh but as some the designer's final collections walk the runway for the last time this season, Off-White is looking ahead to its next chapter.

In a new interview with Business of Fashion, the influential label opened up about figuring out a path forward following the Abloh's death. Looking to "harness the legacy" of its late founder, Off-White is apparently drawing on some of the "endless" ideas that came up in WhatsApp conversations over the years for future inspiration.

“The next two years, we are going to go full-speed," Off-White’s CEO Andrea Grilli says. "The fuel being poured into the brand, it’s for decades, for centuries. Virgil would have wanted us to do it. He always said this has to be a multi-generational brand; our kids need to go on Rodeo Drive and Rue Saint-Honoré and see it.”

As far as Abloh's potential successor for creative direction is concerned, Off-White is looking to shift towards a "collective" approach. Similar to the relaunched Hood By Air, the move is meant to echo a much broader shift across the fashion industry towards design collectives.

“It’s going to be a group of people, a movement, a collective,” explains Davide De Giglio, co-founder of Off-White's parent company New Guards Group. ”Think about Linux, open-source: you can inject something new and the software pattern evolves.” Considering that a majority share of Off-White was only just acquired by New Guards Group, which itself is a subsidiary of Farfetch, in a long-term agreement with LVMH, they'll have until at least 2026 to figure something out.

Speaking on Off-White's future, Louis Vuitton’s Chairman and CEO, Michael Burke, likened the label's current predicament as similar to Dior's following the namesake designer's passing in 1957. “If the legacy is rich, authentic, and steeped in values that go beyond fashion, the odds of turning a passing into something eternal are spectacular.”

Photo via Getty/ Daniel Zuchnik