Virgil Abloh presented his fall 2021 Off-White collection at the haute couture shows in Paris last July. At the time the show read as a statement of confidence and ambition. “Off-White should be adult,” he told my colleague. With the designer’s sudden passing in November, that show now acts as a sort of template for subsequent collections, the first of which is spring 2022, appearing here. Off-White, as Abloh put it half a year ago, is “adjacent to streetwear,” but it’s not hemmed in by it. He was a restless spirit, prone to rebel against labels and the constraints of time. “I get frustrated if I don’t feel an evolution, and the message becomes monotonous,” he also said. “I feel the world’s changed.”
The world has changed profoundly for the Off-White design studio and the New Guards Group that produces the OW collections. Going forward, their job will be striking a balance between homage and honoring Abloh’s drive for constant forward movement. Designed before his passing, this collection makes good on the “more adult” Off-White, while also celebrating childhood and youthful games. The collection’s name is Sticks & Stones. If it were anybody else, that might sound like a post-mortem tweak of former detractors, but that’s not Abloh’s style. A brand rep described it as a playful endorsement of doing your own thing. Read more at Vogue.