Virgil Abloh joins Evian
Many of you might have been left scratching your head in bemusement when you read the headline ‘Virgil Abloh joins Evian’, but if you care to take a moment and delve a little deeper, to explore beyond the headline, I think you’d be surprised to read that actually this collaboration makes a lot more sense than you’d perhaps expect. Virgil Abloh in one capacity or another has been around for a while now, and his CV reads like an A to Z that spans over 950 projects. From t-shirts to album covers and Ikea furniture, Pyrex Vision to Off-White and everything in between Virgil Abloh has added countless strings to his bow, through a diverse medley of experiences working alongside some of the fashion world’s biggest hitters. Interning at Fendi HQ in Rome, founding RSVP Gallery and working alongside Ricardo Tisci as the Art Director for Kanye West and Jay-Z’s collaborative album ‘Watch the Throne’ are just some of his more notable early achievements.
Sighting what I have just mentioned you might be able to more comfortably understand the multi-talented man himself, who’s ventures expand into a more cultural landscape beyond just fashion – as he finds success under the DJing alias ‘Flat White’, filling venues everywhere. As well as receiving critical acclaim by collaborating with Japanese contemporary artist, Takashi Murakami on a series of art installations in 2018. Yet, what you might still be failing to understand is why Virgil Abloh would wish to offer his services to a company that sells mineral water. To answer this question firstly we have to acknowledge that Evian, the company in question, has a lot of previous experience with this sort of cross-pollination between themselves and the world of high-fashion – with a series of limited-edition bottles being produced annually since 2013 with most notable contributors being from the likes of Kenzo, Alexander Wang and Christian Lacroix. So perhaps not an overtly obvious fit for the two starkly different fields, but Virgil Abloh would have been acutely aware that he is treading an already well-trodden path.
For Evian, the appointment of Abloh as their new “creative advisor” is an absolute no-brainer. In Virgil, they are obtaining one of the hottest properties in not just fashion, but a more extensive cluster of creative fields. One who labels the passionate and avant-garde thirty-something-year-old somewhat of a jack of all trades, and therefore a very shrood acquisition for a brand of bottled water which is often portrayed in popular culture as the most luxurious in its class. The pull for Virgil comes courtesy of the MO set by Evian that positions ‘sustainability’ as its primary focus, a buzzword that Abloh is particularly enthused by. With his first creative contribution to the brand echoing that message and kick-starting a transformation of Evian’s creative process into something that is innately more sustainable, the production of these limited-edition reusable bottles is just the first step in that journey.
Off-White x Air Force 1 MCA
The list of accolades Virgil Abloh has already been so deservedly bestowed upon throughout his career speaks volumes of the man’s versatility. As does his new position at Louis Vuitton, and it really does make you begin to query how he has the time to fit it all in. With a seemingly endless stream of projects on the go, you start to wonder which of his many ventures will struggle as he attempts to spin the metaphorical plates that make up his impressive portfolio. A lot has been speculated that it would be his partnership with Nike on his very popular ‘The 10’ Collection that would, unfortunately, be the one to take a hit. With rumours circulating the web that his February 2019 twin pack release of the Off-White x Nike Air Max 90 both in Black and Desert Ore would signify the “the end of ‘The 10” to allow him to concentrate his efforts on his new Louis Vuitton collections. Things were looking pretty bleak for proponents of the collaboration between Virgil and Nike. In perfect Virgil Abloh nonchalant style, however, using the power of Instagram in December 2018, the fashionista teased fans with an image of him wearing a pair of University Blue Off-White x Air Force 1’s. With these shoes now being touted for a June launch, it appears the master juggler isn’t prepared to give up the trainer game just yet, despite the multitude of pies he finds himself with his fingers in.