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Off-White Co-Founders On the Future Without Virgil Abloh

Virgil Abloh Off-White Sydney

The sudden loss of Virgil Abloh in late 2021 left a gaping void in the fashion and street culture world. This was undoubtedly most acutely felt by Davide De Giglio and Andrea Grilli, who co-founded Off-White with Abloh, as they consider the future of the brand without their visionary partner. On the approach to Off-White’s first show at Paris Fashion Week since Abloh’s passing, the founders sat down with Business of Fashion to mull over where to go next.

The all-encompassing interview and brand retrospective incorporates various industry figures’ viewpoints on Off-White’s current status. For now, it’ll be ‘full-speed’, according to Grilli. ‘The fuel being poured into the brand, it’s for decades, for centuries.’

As Louis Vuitton’s Michael Burke remarks, ‘There has been no precise decision on succession.’ Creative decisions regarding OW product are being made by each department’s head designers. This could be the way forward, as Grilli and De Giglio insist ‘it’s going to be a group of people, a movement, a collective.’

The current licensing agreement between New Guards Group (the holding company of De Giglio and Grilli) and LVMH (who have a 60 per cent stake in Off-White) currently will run until 2026, at which point the partners can re-evaluate. But as it stands, it seems there is promise for a longer relationship once everyone figures it out.

'Off-White is in the position that Dior was in 1957,' says Burke. 'Monsieur Dior had only been at the house for 10 years when he died. Off-White, too, was conceived almost 10 years ago. The question is: what has the founding father left? If the legacy is rich, authentic and steeped in values that go beyond fashion, the odds of turning a passing into something eternal are spectacular.'

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