Off-White’s Virgil Abloh and Heron Preston Breakdown “What’s Cool?” and Their Labels – Vogue.com

Today, Vogue.com’s Fashion News Director Chioma Nnadi sat down with Kim Kardashian West. There’s no doubt that Abloh and Preston boast an undeniable cool factor that keeps their clothes—as well as their identities—in the public eye.

But what is next for the two? And how does a cool label keep, well, cool? Here, see some standout quotes from the panel.

“Cool” seems to be defined by Abloh’s new term “influencer gulfstream”

I recently had an epiphany where I coined this new term, “influencer gulfstream.” Look at this community: I’m sure there are people here from all ends of the earth, let alone from all over the country, but we are connected through the internet and we are sharing without having to be in the same space. Heron and I are part of this international tribe that is connecting cities. It’s no longer just one city—we’ve made links with London, Paris, Russia—and some of our friendships were digital that turned physical. Is it cool to have a denim jacket that is short here [points to jacket]? That gets decided in an “influencer gulfstream.” We are [going to] new cities and connecting new dots and we are also inclusive.

Preston’s HPC x DSNY collection stemmed from a dirty beach in Ibiza

I was on vacation with my girlfriend. We were in Ibiza and we ended up on this kind of messed up beach—a bunch of college kids had just trashed it. I went swimming and a plastic bag brushed against my arm. At first, I thought it was a jellyfish and I started to freak out, but then I realized it was a plastic a bag. I was like, “Holy shit, that is the wicked issue. I want to help clean up beaches. I hate when beaches are dirty. It is ruining the environment and it is also ruining my selfies.” I wanted to apply my design and innovation too, and then I was like, “Wow, wait a minute—workwear, uniforms—that is also something I am passionate about.” And then I thought about the Department of Sanitation; they are a uniformed force in New York City that cares about the same thing I do. They wear T-shirts when they are collecting trash around New York. I had a dream at that moment. I was like, “It would be so fucking cool to see sanitation workers wearing designer T-shirt while collecting trash around New York.” I had never seen that before. Again, it was dreaming up a possibility or breaking a boundary—that is where I come from.

According to Abloh, luxury is now being defined by 17-year-olds.

My internal tool for digesting the word “luxury” is to determine whether or not something is “coveted.” If you covet it, it’s luxurious to you. 17-year-old kids covet Supreme—a Supreme T-shirt is their Louis Vuitton. I learned about fashion by watching Marc Jacobs decide to use Takashi Murakami on a bag—that was my first luxury purchase and it opened up the world of art to me. Now, if you’re 17-years-old, going into the Supreme store and buying that first T-shirt is something you won’t lose for the rest of your life. It doesn’t matter if it is $30, that 17-year-old kid is going to remember Supreme for the rest of their lives. The unique position in which Heron and I sit is that we are creating for the 17-year-old. We are on the bench of The Mercer, not in The Mercer lobby—we are on the bench, signing sneakers, hanging out, and taking photos. The next generation’s idea of luxury might be cool.

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