Virgil Abloh, creative director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collections and his own label Off-White (and DJ), is the fashion industry’s most sought-after hypeman. Collaboration has become his modus operandi and each one that he drops has an in-the-know, head-nodding cool factor. The formula Off-White x [insert Fashion Brand] has grown so successful in it’s own rite, that Abloh’s influence has naturally extended beyond fashion. This year, a number of non-fashion brands have called on the 38-year-old designer for his creative guidance. Ahead, a list of the most-hyped, “non-fashion” collabs that Virgil dropped in 2018.
Cha Cha Matcha x Virgil Abloh
This was a curveball. Two “brands” we know and love: Cha Cha Matcha, a popular tea shop, and Virgil Abloh, the designer, dropped a line of merch in December. It’s not everyday that your favorite designer teams up with your matcha provider of choice, and the two commemorated the occasion with a capsule of t-shirts and hoodies in Cha Cha Matcha’s signature pastel pink, as well as black and white.
Of the partnership, Conrad Sandel, co-founder of Cha Cha Matcha, told Vogue, “[Virgil] came in as a customer and got to talking. We realized we had a bunch of mutual friends, and then we became friends and started talking about architecture, design, fashion, all those things,” adding, “And at a certain point, you know, we thought, let’s do something together.”
evian x Virgil Abloh
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Architect, artist, engineer, designer @virgilabloh embodies next generation possibilities. Joining the team for ongoing collaboration, together we will break new ground in sustainable design innovation, as we continue our bold ambitions and progress towards being 100% circular by 2025. #evian #Liveyoung #VirgilAbloh #evianxVirgilAbloh
Add “Creative Advisor” of Sustainable Innovation Design to Abloh’s lengthy resume.
“Architect, artist, engineer, designer @VirgilAbloh embodies next generation possibilities,” Evian writes in an Instagram caption. “Joining the team for ongoing collaboration, together we will break new ground in a sustainable design innovation, as we continue our bold ambitions and progress towards being 100% circular by 2025.”
In layman’s terms, Abloh will help to put a creative spin on sustainable product designs, like caps and bottles.
IKEA x Off-White
Technically, news of IKEA and Off-White’s partnership dropped last year in 2017, but it still hasn’t dropped and we would be remiss not to include it in Abloh’s list of non-fashion partnerships. Details of the drop are somewhat limited, but we know that it is due to release sometime in 2019. Earlier in 2018, Abloh and IKEA walked viewers through a preview of the collection in a hour-long YouTube video.
Off-White x Rimowa
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Founder of OFF-WHITE™ and Artistic Director for Louis Vuitton Men’s, Virgil Abloh, is one of five cultural icons featured in RIMOWA's first global brand campaign. Shot in New York City which Virgil refers to as a metaphor for a melting pot, his film portrays the meaning of creativity and what it is to be inspired through travel. Watch the full film on IGTV. @virgilabloh #rimowa120
Abloh and Rimowa collaborated a couple of times in 2018. Earlier this year, the design duo launched a clear, polycarbonate suitcase that received a bit of criticism from the Internet. Then, in October, the brands released another set of suitcases, this time in black and white, retailing for a cool $1,700 each.
Virgil Abloh & “KALEIDOSCOPE” Magazine
Abloh appeared on KALEIDOSCOPE magazine’s FallWinter cover, and in November, announced an exhibit with the Milan-based publication. Abloh appeared on KALEIDOSCOPE magazine’s FallWinter cover, and in November, announced an exhibit with the Milan-based magazine that featured installations and works of art from the issue, as well as Abloh.
MOËT & CHANDON c/o VIRGIL ABLOH™
In September, Virgil and Moët & Chandon dropped an exclusive bottle of rosé, with a custom-designed bottle by Abloh. Each bottle says “DO NOT DROP” along the side, in Abloh’s signature style and starts at $89 at Reserve Bar.