Perhaps we got a bit of a sneak peak with Virgil Abloh’s Nike collection with Serena Williams. The Off-White creative director made his Spring 2019 collection all about athleticism and beauty and power, particularly when it comes to running, which was the theme of the show.
It all started with the invites, which came in the shape of race bibs and paper clips (Abloh makes us all feel like the track-and-field champions we never were in high school), and the venue in Paris’s 11th arrondissement was decked out with a race track and grassy median. Even the front row carried on the athletic theme, with soccer mega-star Neymar sitting front row in the bleachers.
The Off-White show kicked off with a voiceover clip from Wilma Rudolph, the history-making, triple gold medal-winning track-and-field champion. The clip captured Rudolph saying, “I always had the worst start in the history of any sprinter because of my size, and I was the tallest sprinter that had come from the U.S. My first 30-40 yards, I was never in the race. The farther I ran, the faster I became, and I could always accelerate at the end. That was the key.”
Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid also had a power twin moment, stepping out on the runway with all-white ensembles. The athleticism of the clothes ranged from subtle (the sensible, tennis-white structure of Hadid’s mini skirt and blouse) to more overt, like the sports bras paired with white linen skirts.
Abloh explained in his showroom how he paired sports shirts with tutus – mostly due to the inspiration Williams provided him with. “It was really refreshing for me not to be in fashion mode. It was performance,” said Abloh. “With fashion, you can just get into the appearance, but she’s stupendous, such a muse. And when she talked, she said she’s passionate about ballet and dancing.”