Finding time in between the Yeezy Season presentation and Skepta’s mixtape release, i-D spoke to Virgil Abloh during his recent trip to New York City. The conversation seemed short, but the OFF-WHITE founder delivered a few gems about his work ethic, the state of streetwear, and pursuing dreams. Check out some of the quotes below, before heading over to i-D for the full interview.
On his many ventures.
“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.”
On his title.
“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. 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.”
On the current state of the industry.
“I challenge myself every day. 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 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.”
On streetwear and OFF-WHITE’s position within.
“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.”
On creative directing.
“My life was super unplanned. Once you realize you’re not going to play ball, [you have] to discover everything. I found the safe haven of modern creative directing and learned the skill sets. In some ways, my life has been one big performance art project, it’s not me at the centre stage but rather suggesting ideas, working on them, helping an artist share them with the world and watching the response – using that mood and feel to influence and inject new ideas.”
On what’s next.
“I always considered OFF-WHITE as a lifestyle brand and these are its infant years. Men’s was an obvious starting point, then women’s gave me the freedom to design fully, and then furniture – that’s what’s next because it goes back to my original passion for ‘design’ design and objects, shapes and form. I’m working towards a gallery show of furniture in late 2016, early 2017 – another platform of creativity to showcase my ideas.”