Virgil Abloh is designed in a way that is more than just clothes

Virgil Abloh has been prolific enough in his too-short career for his side to hustle to grow so much. A fashion outsider who has risen to the helm of Louis Vuitton, Abloh has eulogy, rightly so, as the connected man of his time: a hyperactive bridge between the different worlds of fashion, commerce, art, design and architecture.

But Abloh also practices her pure design work — like furniture, mass-produced physical products, accessories, and just about anything that can be thought of and bought but not worn — in a pretty way. traditional. With formal training in architecture and a seemingly endless library of references, he has applied modern deconstruction to all of his projects, whatever the medium. In detail, with an almost scholarly obsession with the quirks and meanings of merchandise high and low, he has unleashed, beyond his fashion commitments, tons of commercial items, In a simple way, it all seems to be interconnected.

Finally, Abloh’s stamp — or quotes — covers not only clothing, but everything a person can buy or aspire to own. Branded Abloh matcha latte and Mercedes Benz sports cars, Braun’s stereo, limited number of bottles Evian and Moët & Chandon, Rimowa Suitcase—Even a brick.

Abloh is drinking a bottle of Evian.

Donell Woodson

Abloh’s work shares a common theme. All seem to comment on our exact timing – sometimes intentionally, sometimes not – and most edit the long tradition of design in which he has recruited items. His remixes, whether the categories are large or small, feel immediate and direct. Mostly, they were superficial. I don’t mean it in a bad way – more than that, they attacked face about the work he is doing. His interventions were based on what an object looks like, less than its function and meaning. This is a classic, cool looking thing; this is something that Abloh considers classic. He will slightly remake or wholesale the items, often following what he calls his “3% rule”: that a minimal, nearly invisible change is enough to confer authorship. . Elements that are important to a dying subculture — like skateboarding, or 9/11-era streetwear — can be left alone and simply copied. Tonier items like luxury cars do not receive such respect.

At a basic level, Abloh is very interested in shapes — ideally a few degrees off-centre, but not avant-garde or particularly difficult. Last year, he did it again a Benz wagon, update a harsh Jeepish block into a mercilessly simple rectangle. He smoothed its edges, lowered it, like a drift car, and dulled its tires with Pirelli-style lettering. His new thing is half Formula 1, half cartoon: Speed ​​Racer (movie), or a big candy. At first glance, the update has nothing in common with its source. But a closer look, it’s a perfect distortion: a completely smooth version of a very rough car, connected only by their common shape.

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