Much was questioned about Off-White's future, after the untimely passing of its founder, Virgil Abloh. The concerns, however, were appropriately answered by successor Ib Kamara. Like Abloh, Kamara is a multihyphenate with a body of work that crosses different lanes. He took on the role of Image and Art Director at the label, as appointed by CEO Andrea Grilli starting with the Spring 2023 Ready-to-Wear collection, and has since infused his own touch to the label.
Off-White's Fall 2023 Ready-to-Wear, is effectively Kamara's first fully-directed collection. Thus, the collection holds a significant weight in both Off-White's journey ahead and Kamara's role within the label. Entitled "Lunar Delivery", the collection takes Off-White into another realm, with obvious references to space exploration while staying grounded in Kamara's roots in Sierra Leone and London. Fitting, since Kamara once said of his predecessor as "almost in another universe."
Inside "Lunar Delivery"
After their runway presentation in March, "Lunar Delivery" is finally available to purchase in Off-White's stores. Days after the anniversary of Abloh's passing (30/11), Off-White's Jakarta store in Plaza Indonesia held a preview for the collection. Accompanied with music by E-one Cronik, attendees were given firsthand experience to interact with the twists and textures of the pieces.
Fittingly, the collection builds upon Off-White's "Meteor Shower" motif. Glasses from the collection appear with indentations not unlike the surface of the moon, while knitwear pieces are ridden with circular holes. Some shirts have extended collars that cross each other and reach all the way to the back—one variant has eyelets throughout the length of the connecting collar. Jackets are fastened with an additional strap across the chest, and leather pieces are convertible. The label's signature graphics, such as its arrow logo, is now fluidly curved. The diagonal lines that often appear in the back of some pieces are now applied through stitchings.
Zippers not only serve a practical function, they also appear in the hems and pocket flaps of shirts and jackets, or down the side of trousers. One standout piece is a bomber jacket-dress hybrid, as modeled by Naomi Campbell in the collection's runway presentation. The proportions are dramaticallyexaggerated—zipper pulls areoversized and collar rib iselongated—making for a distinctly elevated take on a street style staple, as per Off-White's usual approach.
Bomber jacket-dress hybrid, as modeled by Naomi Campbell/ Foto: Off-White
Perhaps the most notable touch of Kamara's is the addition of a distinct shade of blue in his collections. The shade appears throughout the collection's pieces, including the city-exclusive products that can only be found in Off-White's Jakarta store. For the event, the label made an installation of an Indonesian kiosk in the same shade of blue. As per Off-White's directions, the kiosk offers local delicacies such as es campur, banana fritters, and rendang sourdough, all in Off-White-branded packaging.
Off-White's refreshment offerings, served out of a specially-made "gerobak" installation/ Foto: Off-White
Amidst the blue hues, runway pieces, and reimagined staples, it's apparent that Kamara has managed to build upon Abloh's legacy while also establishing his own identity in the label. It feels familiar, yet fresh and forward-looking at the same time. The trajectory ahead seems like an apt tribute to honor the irreplaceable Virgil Abloh's legacy.
Off-White's "Lunar Delivery" is available to purchase now in Off-White Plaza Indonesia.(alm/tim)