Inside Off-White: NYC’s cult menswear retailer

Behind a pair of massive scissors stands off-white iron gates, weighing 3,000kg – heavy enough to split a lorry in two. Yet they do not glisten in the sun, save for the silver studs stuck in the slots, dancing on the glistening pavement. Someone is, it would seem, very pleased to be here.

The venue of our meeting is Off-White, the very store that launched the design legacy of Virgil Abloh, the fashion designer whose multi-brand luxury diffusion label serves as a bible for the current aesthetic phenomenon known as menswear. Now, after almost a year in existence, one of his creations has generated a shrine to it here in London.

Zimmermann Catwalk

“It’s quite complicated,” says Abloh, quietly, from the windowless viewing gallery of his store. “How do you build an altar on a three-story facade? And is there room for me in heaven? The way to build it is just by accessorising each cross as you see fit. It started as an idea around flowers and roses with a veil and then I got on to this concept of the walls being like a wave.”

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