If you, like me, lived through the stereotypical high school experience, you’ve likely already owned a far-less-covetable version of Virgil Abloh’s latest line.
I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago in the 2000s, and as you can imagine, there wasn’t a whole lot of excitement going on. One of the few activities that my classmates and I got up to that did provide worthwhile entertainment was stringing jewelry out of paperclips, the only items residing in the dredges of our ink-stained canvas pencil bags during study hall — or detention. Strewn around our necks, ankles, and wrists, the flimsy metal baubles were anything but luxurious. That, however, is hardly the case for Abloh’s version.
Instead, the designer beloved by hype beasts everywhere is taking my once-favorite boredom-squashing activity, adding diamonds and 18k gold, and slapping a very exclusive order form to it.
Today, Virgil Abloh and long-time collaborator and friend Jacob Arabo announced the launch of “Office Supplies,” a four-piece made-to-order collection of earrings, bracelets, money clips, and necklaces made to resemble your old-school paperclip accessories. And shoppers who want to purchase a piece must first put in an application (yes, you read that correctly), which will be reviewed personally by both Arabo and Abloh. Those lucky enough to get the golden stamp of approval will then be granted the right to fill out an order form.
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“@jacobarabo for me has always been innovative, particularly in the notions of merging design sophistication and the pop-culture emanating from the streets,” said @virgilabloh, the Artistic Director of #louisvuitton menswear as well as the CEO of #offwhite. . . . . . . . . . #jacobandco #inspiredbytheimpossible #jacobthejeweler #virgilabloh #virgil #officesupplies #hype
From there, potential customers will choose from the four jewelry options and decide whether they want their paperclips in 18k yellow, white, or rose gold. Regardless of the material chosen, each piece will each be engraved with “Office Supplies,” to both “highlight the inspiration behind the collection,” as stated in the press release, and differentiate your Abloh original from the homemade alternatives that will no doubt begin popping up on the stock floors of indie retailers across town.
If I’m being completely honest, the concept is genius. After all, people my age love to spend cash when nostalgia is involved. And the order forms, while maybe a tad more ostentatious than the situation calls for, do create a sense of urgency. Do you have what it takes to wear luxury paperclips?! Only time will tell.
That’s not to say, though, that the “Office Supplies” collection isn’t high brow — it is. “In my watchmaking and jewelry work, I have been operating at the upper ends of the spectrum, reworking high complications in watches and changing the way jewelry was perceived,” Arabo explains in the release. If you’re otherwise unfamiliar with Jacob Arabo’s work, his brand Jacob & Co. is known for selling timepieces that cost upwards of $250k and are worn by the likes of Christiano Ronaldo and Jay-Z. Floyd Mayweather actually purchased one for $18 million in 2018. So yeah, quality isn’t an issue.
If waiting four to eight weeks for the chance at a diamond-encrusted paper clip is your thing, email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an order form. As for me, I think I’d prefer to stick with my tried-and-true method of building them myself.