- Virgil Abloh is the founder and creative director of the luxury brand Off-White, as well as the menswear artistic director for Louis Vuitton.
- He is considered one of the driving forces behind this decade’s “streetwear movement,” which saw puffy jackets, chunky sneakers, hoodies, and logo T-shirts take over the runway.
- But in a new interview with Dazed, Abloh said he sees that trend dying soon, and that “its time will be up” in the upcoming year.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Luxury streetwear pioneer Virgil Abloh predicts an end to the trend he helped take global. Abloh, who is the founder and creative director of the luxury fashion brand Off-White as well as the menswear artistic director for Louis Vuitton, gave an interview with Dazed last week in which he said streetwear was “definitely” going to die and that “its time will be up” in the upcoming year.
“In my mind, how many more T-shirts can we own,” he told Dazed. “How many more hoodies, how many sneakers?”
Abloh was a “driving force” behind streetwear
Abloh is considered one of the major forces behind the streetwear trend, or, in his own words, the “post-streetwear movement,” which became a global phenomenon this past decade. The Chicago native started off as the fashion and creative director for rapper Kanye West, a position which he held for 14 years.
Then, in 2012, Abloh launched his own brand, Off-White, and has since done numerous collaborations, including with furniture giant IKEA, the New York City Ballet, eyeglass brand Warby Parker, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and most recently, the Louvre. He designed tennis outfits for Serena Williams and is a favourite of mega-celebs like Rihanna and Kim Kardashian West.
“I decided if ‘streetwear’ was gonna be the sign of the times, I was gonna define it rather than be defined by it,” Abloh told Dazed in the recent interview. “I needed to do a show to define what ‘streetwear’ could be, and do it with urgency, you know.”
Classic streetwear is rooted in hip-hop and skating culture, as noted by Elle UK. It has always been around and has had its brief moments in the fashion spotlight. However, this past decade, the streetwear movement definitively took off and shifted the entire fashion landscape.
Suddenly, Balenciaga was selling puffer jackets, and chunky sneakers, hoodies, and oversized logos were everywhere. Longstanding luxury giants were (and still are) teaming with younger brands in droves: Most recently, there’s been Dior collaborating with Nike to make limited edition Air Jordans, Louis Vuitton launching a collaboration with Supreme, and Gucci working with legendary Harlem designer Dapper Dan. The lines between luxury and streetwear were torn down; suddenly, they were one and the same.
“[Luxury brands] see our value and they see what we’re bringing to the table,” Amazon Prime Wardrobe stylist Alexander Allen told Business Insider. “And they are honing in on that.”
The new decade signals the end of an era
But Abloh says it’s all coming to an end now, and he isn’t the only one in fashion who believes that. In an interview with Business Insider, Julia von Boehm, the celebrity stylist and fashion director at InStyle, expressed similar sentiments.
“[Streetwear is] done,” she said. “The counter-reaction of society is that now everything is very classic and reflects the past more than the future. I do feel that the past right now is something that is reassuring, because nobody knows what’s in the future.”
Boehm predicts that classic and good quality wardrobe pieces will be the big trend next year, which is similar to what Abloh said in his interview with Dazed when he predicted a return to vintage fashion.
“We’re gonna hit this like, really awesome state of expressing your knowledge and personal style with vintage,” he said. “There are so many clothes that are cool that are in vintage shops and it’s just about wearing them.”