What Happens Now? Off-White Officially Enters a Post-Virgil Abloh World

Virgil Abloh’s last collection just debuted in Paris. Where does Off-White, the brand synonymous with Abloh himself, go from here?

There have been countless questions regarding Virgil Abloh’s legacy after his untimely death last November, but that’s what he wanted. The founder of Off-White and the Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton, Abloh left behind a super-sized hole in the fashion industry that seems impossible to fill.

January brought forth Abloh’s final line for Louis Vuitton. His Autumn/Winter 2022 collection debuted in a cavernous, light-filled room at Paris Fashion Week, where the brand effectively said goodbye to the visionary. Even more emotional than that was this week’s otherworldly Off-White show in Paris, which featured countless celebrities both on and off the runway paying their respects and celebrating the brand that Abloh built. The Off-White Fall 2022 RTW collection, “Spaceship Earth,” marked Abloh’s final collection for any brand.

Backstage at the Off-White Fall 2022 show in Paris on Monday.
VIP guests at the Off-White show.

“QUESTION EVERYTHING.” That was Abloh’s parting message, as it billowed across the runway in classic Off-White branding printed on large flags.

So, where does Off-White go from here? How can the brand that revolutionized street style and effectively created designer streetwear as we know it, forge on without their captain?

Abloh’s final message: “QUESTION EVERYTHING.”

Abloh’s message certainly rings true now, as the world continues to question (as they have since the minute his death was confirmed) who, if anyone, will succeed Abloh at both Louis Vuitton and in his own company. Will it be Kerby Jean Raymond? Daniel Lee? Samuel Ross? Or will LVMH and New Guards Group, who owns Off-White, decide to forge forward without a replacement?

A recent report by the Business of Fashion clears up some of our questions. Louis Vuitton CEO Michael Burke stated that the brand has yet to decide if anyone will fill Abloh’s seat, and noted the similarities between Off-White and Dior, who mobilized after the 1957 death of Christian Dior and shaped the House into what it is today.

The co-founders of Off-White’s parent company, Davide De Giglio and Andrea Grilli, also told BoF that while Abloh’s legacy will obviously continue to shape the brand he created, his ideas will also have an immediate impact on upcoming lines. The word “endless” was used to describe the number of ideas Abloh left behind in various texts and WhatsApp messages, which is certainly enough to impact the next few seasons. For now, Off-White will be run as a “collective,” allowing them to adapt and change alongside the high-fashion landscape.

Though the report answers many questions, it leaves room for even more, most of which nobody has the answers to yet. How will Off-White move forward? Will it become the next Dior, with creatives fighting for the top spot, or will it fade into the fashion archives without its shining star?

And, will anyone ever fill the gap that Abloh left behind?

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