He's worked with Jay-Z and Kayne West, and now Grammy-nominated Virgil Abloh is sending the fashion world in a spin with his Milan-based designer streetwear label, Off-White. We caught up with Abloh during his visit to Hong Kong last week to celebrate his second shop opening in the city.
You grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. Did this influence your style and sense of fashion growing up?
Virgil Abloh I was a typical American teenager into skateboarding and music. My fashion sense came from those worlds of hip-hop and rock and roll.
Do you have a mentor in the fashion industry?
VA Kanye West, Nigo, Pharrell and Raf Simons.
You launched Off-White in 2013, just four years ago. Where do you see the label in another four years?
VA I see it growing into its own space as a unique designer label. Expressive and ideally constantly evolving.
Any streetwear labels or up and coming designers that you have your eye on?
VA Heron Preston's label. He's a close friend and true talent.
Lots of people count you as one of the designers to put streetwear onto the luxury road map for fashion—what do you have to say about this?
VA I take that with great responsibility. I also love the challenge. I am super excited about the future and possibilities of streetwear and high fashion.
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Which was the first retailer that picked you guys up?
VA Colette, many years before Off-White officially launched.
What’s your opinion on online shopping versus brick-and-mortar stores? What’s more important?
VA Brick and mortar stores give the brand depth and add premise to the clothing.