Well, we didn’t see this one coming: Virgil Abloh, the king of the “remix,” says streetwear is dead. Box up all those limited-edition T-shirts and graphic hoodies, because according to Abloh, your days of being considered fashionable while wearing either are numbered. Dazed magazine asked Abloh where he thought streetwear was headed in 2020. His response: “Wow. I would say it’s gonna die, you know?”
Actually, no, we did not know, considering the speed at which Abloh himself pushed out streetwear-inspired collaborations over the past decade: In addition to designing for Louis Vuttion and his own label Off-White, he also found time to collaborate with Ikea; debut swimwear; dress Serena Williams for the US Open; work with New York City Ballet on costumes; design limited-edition (but chic AF) black sunglasses for Warby Parker; collab with Nike on Yeezy-fied Air Force Ones; and make Cinderella-inspired Jimmy Choos. He even sued brands for their use of quotation marks and red zip ties — an Off-White signature, apparently.
“Like, its time will be up,” Abloh continued. “In my mind, how many more t-shirts can we own, how many more hoodies, how many sneakers? I think that like we’re gonna hit this like, really awesome state of expressing your knowledge and personal style with vintage – there are so many clothes that are cool that are in vintage shops and it’s just about wearing them,” he said. “I think that fashion is gonna go away from buying a boxfresh something; it’ll be like, hey I’m gonna go into my archive.”
Kanye West introduced the fashion industry to Abloh, who worked as the rapper’s fashion advisor and creative director for 14 years — the two even interned at Fendi together. “I was working and then all of a sudden, I got a call from Kanye West,” Abloh told System magazine of meeting the man who would change his life. “He said: ‘Hey, I heard about this kid in Chicago who can design and understands music and culture.’”
Maybe West is right, and Virgil does understand the culture. The good news is if you’ve been following Abloh’s career (and shopping his collaborations) over the last decade, you’ll definitely have an arsenal of “vintage” in your "archive."