We are no longer present Virgil Abloh. The American designer on the controls of Off-White and the man of Louis Vuitton's collections are sure of them, with a lack of ideas and always before his time. On his side, Alexandre Arnault, CEO of Rimowa and son of LVMH luxury group owner. Unified by their co-operation, their new vision of luxury, the millennials and even Kanye West, who gathered them in Paris 10 years ago, were faced with their feelings about the fashion industry in a crowded room of Friday world. Potocki Hotel, Paris, on the occasion of the Vogue Fashion Festival.
Off-White: Internet Success in Retail Development
"Off-White is my announcement, a conversation with me," Virgil Abloh told the audience of journalists, professionals and students in the sector, among which many of the fans of the current art star director. Found in 2014, the Off-White brand started to "build its image and devise a famous logo today. On the side of the French house, the challenge is to change the previously established codes." My connection to Louis Vuitton is different. There is a house heritage dialogue set up in 1854. But as with Off-White brands, branding and iconography is very important. The monogram is an interesting tool, "admitted Virgil Abloh.
On the other hand, the brand with 5.5 million followers on Instagram is Virgil Abloh's thinking tank. "Off-White is the man, here is the woman … It's so much wearing a wedding like a sweatshirt," says the designer, who is well-known for her multi-disciplinary and & 39 ; to multiple creations, a decline in dozens of media collaborations. Opening strength to Virgil Abloh, whose brand is consecrated by the Lyst site as requested for the year. This does not prevent some from questioning the location of items prices and whether they belong to luxury or not. "I often ask this question," Virgil abloh smiled. "Off-White produces in responsible workshops and has a team of 40 people who pay well" he says. It comes to the conclusion: "In a way, it's a creativity price."
On October 25th, Off-White opened the doors of Dubai buzz. And although the brand has been largely driven by social networks and digital prosperity, the physical channel remains essential for its founder, who made his first career in the world of architecture . "Off-White is not an online store," he said, bearing in mind that the brand currently has around twenty shops and is targeting 40 next year. All brand sales areas are different, according to the rule established by the creator, who want to add value to the customer experience. "You have to think about the limited edition pieces that are intended to be sold, but also to give up all the other products that are the base to the brand, "he said. Colette points out as a physical reference point. In the meantime, Alexandre Arnault prefers "the 360 ° relationship with the Apple Store customer".
Products, luxury and collaborations
"Virgil already wanted to cooperate with Rimowa before he was bought by LVMH (in 2016)," said his president between two and astonished at laughter. He recognizes that the idea of famous transparent masks comes from the Off-White creature. There is a style that, according to Alexandre Arnault, contrasts with the current social trend, obsessed with data and confidentiality. "Transparency makes it possible to create contacts with people. When we reveal a bit more than what the customer uses to see, it creates a connection personal with the collection, "says the designer, which emphasizes the need to renew the offer to encourage purchase.
"Design can be a lovely industry," admitted Virgil Abloh at the same time Arnault explains his specialist market by taking an example of Apple iPhones. "People do not need more than three luggage, so you need to develop ideas for them to come back, not because they need a suitcase, but because they want this special cake. I come to the conclusion about the evolution of the Cologne-based company: "When we bought Louis Vuitton in the 1980s, the company was in the size of Rimowa today. We have the potential for growth, and I see ourselves putting ourselves into the "functional luxury" specialist as a desirable luxury brand and adapted to the needs of the user. " Working together, the American designer is very clear: "In the past, they have been called marketing projects, but for me they're causing the revival in fashion. "
Sometimes Virgil Abloh is the target of criticism due to his lack of training in the sector, reducing his role to a creative director of "new generation". But it's the analysis of the phenomenon with a look-back look. "I think fashion design is different from that of the foremost. Today, for a creator, the most important thing is to understand the ecosystem in which we live", it's a breakdown of the creative process, the evolution of the beings and the changes caused by the digital explosion. . "The social factor and networks are essential in this simple change. Users only have a product, they build relationships and create the message." Alexandre Arnault added: "Before brands set what they wanted to sell. But today, it is impossible to manage a message that can be answered, re-signed or liked".
According to Virgil Abloh, this contextual change also suggests an evolution in the concept. "We have to ask the terms of luxury, high fashion, low fashion and street clothes. The meaning of the word" luxury "is linked to previous generations, but today, what creates & # 39; the connection that is relevant, "he said. A shared shared by Alexandre Arnault, which ensures that it does not appreciate the automatic connection between price and luxury. According to him, the concept of luxury should be related to what makes the product originality. A new generation leader who wants to change the rules of the game, Virgil Abloh comes to the conclusion: "As a creator, I want to offer consumer products that they can take pride in. I want people to know what they are. The new luxury is to create this emotional connection with the product. "
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