Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh has teamed up with the Louvre museum in Paris to release a limited-edition capsule collection. Coinciding with the Louvre's new Leonardo da Vinci retrospective exhibition marking the 500 year anniversary of the Florentine artist's death, the capsule contains sweatshirts and graphic t-shirts featuring the Off-White logo alongside Leonardo da Vinci paintings, giving luxury streetwear a Renaissance spin.
Off-White's creative director Virgil Abloh is no stranger to collaboration nor to the worlds of art and design. Having previously designed Off-White's "HOME" collection, collaborated with IKEA andNike, staged a solo retrospective at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art, and most recently signed to a contemporary art gallery in Paris, Abloh's Louvre capsule only increases the designer's multi-disciplinary reach. Previously referencing the Mona Lisa (1503-1506) in his S/S 18 menswear collection for Off-White and in his IKEA collection MARKERAD, Abloh has been fascinated by Da Vinci since studying civil engineering at Wisconsin University. Admiring Da Vinci for his influence across art, science, engineering and architecture, Abloh commented: 'It’s a crucial part of my overall body of work to prove that any place, no matter how exclusive it seems, is accessible to everyone...creativity does not have to be tied to just one discipline. I think that Leonardo da Vinci was maybe the first artist to live by that principle, and I am trying to as well' (Louvre). Following the Off-White A/W 19 show which took place in the Louvre, Abloh now returns to the historic site to give what you might typically find in a gallery art shop a whole new spin.
Released at the weekend, the ready-to-wear capsule collection mixes the Off-White brand's pointed arrow graphic logo with that of the Louvre, alongside Da Vinci's two revered oil paintings and a selection of male nudes. Both paintings depict religious scenes against magnificent landscapes, and are cut-and-pasted across hoodies and t-shirts in black and white colour ways. By presenting Da Vinci's work in a fashion context, Abloh hopes to democratise art and fashion. Commenting upon the collection's release at the weekend, Abloh noted: 'I want to crash together these two worlds that are seemingly different: fashion and high art' (Louvre). By placing high art references within a luxury streetwear format, Abloh hopes the wearer may be inspired to go and do their own art historical research. To top it off, the collection has been photographed inside the Louvre's Grande Galerie. As paintings by Italian masters hang in gilded gold frames on the gallery walls, models pose and bend into what appears to be a fish-eye style lens. Illuminated by a bright flash, the garments are presented as the most important works of art in the room.
Leonardo da Vinci runs from 24 October 2019 to 24 February 2020 at the Louvre, Paris.
The Off-White x Louvre capsule collection is available at the Louvre gift shop and online, at Off-White and at Farfetch.