Off-White, the premium streetwear label that has pioneered it’s way to becoming one of the most recognizable brands in the industry. A journey and effort that has been led by its founder and creative director, Mr. Virgil Abloh. Whilst it is the brand’s clothing and runway shows that continue to captivate, Underline attempts to unveil the brand’s story that merits an equal if not superior amount of attention. This is a complete brand history of Off-White….
In order to completely grasp the history of Off-White, you have to learn about the position in which its creator – Virgil Abloh – was in before the brands development. Virgil Abloh was once among the many hundreds of creators that worked and learned along side Kanye West. In fact, it would be unfair to the man if he wasn’t referred to as Kanye’s right-hand man. Often in the position as Kanye’s creative director, Virgil helped the famous celebrity on multiple different projects that spun from albums to merchandize and clothing. Whilst Virgil still works with Mr. West, he has since moved on and popularized his own name.
This transition began through the founding of Pyrex Vision and the success of the RSVP Gallery (pictured below). The RSVP Gallery was and is a menswear boutique opened by Virgil and his fellow streetwear connoisseurs: Marc Moran and Don C in 2009. The store is host to exclusive clothing lines and products and it is from the RSVP Gallery that Virgil eventually gathered the inspiration to begin his own line: Pyrex Vision.
A clothing brand created and developed by solely Virgil and his infamous style and technique of production. The beginning and initial Pyrex Vision line was printed on blank Rugby (Ralph Lauren) flannels which after processing carried the OG pyrex design with “pyrex” and the number 23 (Michael Jordan’s Number) on the back. The once Rugby flannels would turn a $460 profit each after only being bought for $40.
Some have criticized the ethics behind Virgil’s early days of Pyrex, yet the short-lived brand was an essential and key stepping stone for Virgil that helped him bolster himself onto the streetwear scene. After a blurry and confusing process that left fans wondering, Pyrex would eventually go on to become the brand that we now know today: Off-White.
Before it’s official release, Off-White was a project that was teased over the course of several months and left Virgil’s hungry fans on the edge of their seats. Eventually, a full lookbook was released and fans were finally satisfied as they saw the beginning of Virgil’s new journey. It became clear that Off-White was in fact Pyrex reborn. After gathering a sufficient amount of funds, Virgil was equipped with the tools to finally create and produce the clothing which he originally desired. Off-White’s debut collection even carried the same name as Pyrex’s first line: ”The Youth Will Always Win”. The collection also featured similar designs with “White” being featured in locations that were previously showcasing “Pyrex”. Weather deliberate or not, the correlation between the two brands was evident, which only added to the hype surrounding the brand.
Almost two years on, Virgil has expanded his brand into the women’s wear industry and more advanced cut and sew. Whilst still maintaining the classic Off-White (or Pyrex) look, Virgil has continued to impress with new collection and lines. Looking forward, he’s hinted his interest in creating Off-White furniture and other unique ideas that all add on to his pioneering journey. Despite its rapid success, Off-White is quite a young brand but, with the Virgil in control an exciting future awaits them both.
If you’re interested in picking up any Off-White pieces or want to see more photos from their latest collection be sure to check out their site.
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