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Brand to Know: Off-White

Apparel, Featured, Listings We Love  /   /  By Lily Montasser

A few years ago, you would have only known the name of niche brand Off-White if you were following the streetwear scene or hip-hop culture. But times have changed, and what started out as a line of hoodies and flannels has grown up to be a zeitgeist of contemporary youth culture–and a brand you need to know.

The designer behind the brand, Virgil Abloh, got his claim to fame as the long-time creative director and collaborator of Kanye West. Virgil received a lot of hype from the hip-hop world when he launched his streetwear line in 2013, but his line of printed T-shirts and provocative hoodies was never taken too seriously as a high-fashion luxury brand.

But that’s no longer the case.

Virgil’s brand quickly became a Barneys best seller, a celebrity favorite, and  It-girl essential (and the subject of an upcoming exhibition at the Chicago contemporary art museum).

Each new collection he sends down the runway strays farther and farther from his hip-hop roots, and as each season passes, he continues to prove that he is a high-fashion force to reckon with.

The shift started with leather jackets and jeans featuring his iconic side panel stripe logo. Later, he began experimenting with avant-garde shirting and deconstructed designs.

From his most recent collection at Paris fashion week, you would never guess that this designer was once most known for men’s hoodies and oversized tees, as he sent feminine shapes, tailored blazers, and even Swarovski-embedded gowns down a moody, forest-themed runway.

We still love the old Virgil, but his new pieces are undeniably intriguing. As luxury brands are trying to lean more streetwear, he’s trying to do the opposite, and so far, we like what we see.

We’ll be watching and waiting for his next move, and you should, too.

We’re gaga over these brands. Put every single one on your watch list.

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