“Imaginary TV” Captures Off-White’s Universal Approach to Creativity by Promoting Inclusivity and Pushing the Envelope Forward for the Industry
Off-White™ and its Founder and Creative Director Virgil Abloh hosted a groundbreaking, globally-interconnected digital event to reveal the label’s Spring/Summer 2021 collection. The get together is dubbed “Imaginary TV,” and the interface—custom built for this unique showcase—features an interactive online complex, complete with a series of special performances. Off-White™’s virtual landscape (which will remain online post-event) offers a myriad selection of channels and networks, just like a television set. Each has a specific purpose in demonstrating the concepts behind the collection. Milan-based and international performers expressing a range of artistic practices have contributed to this electronic experience, mixing fashion with frontier-pushing digital innovation. Ultimately, Abloh envisioned this space as a way to contemporarily reflect Off-White™’s pillars: “Imaginary TV” captures a universal approach to creativity by promoting inclusivity and pushing the envelope forward in terms of how the industry, consumers and fans alike interact with one another.
Products highlighted in the digital rooms include: the Off-White™ x Air Jordan collaboration, eyewear, Off-Active athletic clothing, the “Out-of-Office” sneaker, the Spring/Summer 2021 collection’s overall stories and the launch of a new accessory called The Burrow Bag. The Burrow Bag is an evolution of Abloh’s “Swiss” and “meteor shower” concepts; it debuts with a perforated shoulder bag shape, featuring luxurious materials and finished with a handcrafted finesse. This punch-holed graphic treatment is becoming more and more established in the Off-White™ aesthetic canon. Moreover, the shoulder bag on view in “Imaginary TV” is, in fact, already buyable at www.off—white.com and www.farfetch.com.
The rest of the collection, titled “Adam is Eve,” will become available over three product drops between February and May. This delivery-staggering demonstrates Off-White™’s disruptive new business model of presenting collections and immediately following these unveilings with the first drop, whereby the rest of the lineup is released throughout the season. Abloh has created a gender-blended lineup that remains optimistic and idea-diverse, rife with juxtaposed thoughts and interchangeable elements. Length, volume, color and cut are all fluid; this is the first time that Off-White™ has merged its menswear and womenswear design studios, creating a liquidity and a common ground between the two. Print is minimal, but when used, it flourishes; tones are solid and blocked, cutout and lengthened across heightening silhouettes.
“The idea of ‘Imaginary TV’ stems from a modern poetic vision for, and of, the evermore virtual world. It takes a universal and all-inclusive approach. I want to connect and generate a global network, and bring together creativity while catalyzing a range of emotions,” says Virgil Abloh. “We’re living in a world and at a time that is already largely digitally native. Within the collection itself, I wanted to capture what it is to be human at this very moment. Conundrum is OK, glitches are OK, duality is OK, and a dissolution of norms is OK.”
Within “Imaginary TV,” the Spring/Summer 2021 collection is highlighted by live performances and live activations in Italy. These installations and engagements comprised a varied mix of disciplines, lensing different cultures, humanity, artistry, a sense of celebration and self-expression. Talents include Michele Rizzo, Graffiti Milano, Caterina Barbieri, a group of free-climbing athletes, Binta Diaw, Fabio Cherstich, Damiano Afrira and Off-White™’s own skilled artisans.
“Imaginary TV” also presents international performances at various slots throughout the day. Abloh enlisted the help of an international assortment of talent across time zones, furthering this notion of proximity and connection across time and distance. These multidisciplinary talents include: Wallette, Ash Lauryin, Domi and JD Beck, Letizia Galloni, Prince Gyasi, Mdou Mocatr, Liang Biying, and Kiri Okuyama.