Virgil Abloh is more than just "Kanye's friend." When Abloh isn't busy designing for his LVMH Prize-nominated label Off-White, or DJing across the globe, he's adding pieces to his "insane" graphic T-shirt collection. In an interview with GQ, Abloh discusses his personal archive, his T-shirt philosophies, and (of course) his favorite tees.
As Abloh explains it, his wardrobe begins and ends with his graphic T-shirts. Aside from simply having "an insane amount" of tees, starting his collection back when he was in his teens, his archive of graphic T-shirts has directly affected his current design aesthetic.
"Your taste in graphic tees says a lot about your point of view. I look at them like a canvas, and what I make says tons about my point of view. It's the genre of fashion I come from, and I love the challenge every season of exploring new, cool ways to make a graphic tee. Graphic T-shirts are a form of communication."
Speaking on design, Abloh made sure to keep his Off-White T-shirts at "entry point vibes;" still making sure they would be a clean, "distilled" version of his hit brand. But most importantly, for a piece that's so simple and foundational, Abloh believes the best T-shirts really focus on the details (and it doesn't hurt if they're made in Italy either):
"I'm just trying to find a space in fashion that's my own, and I'm like an aficionado of T-shirt fits. I know what American Apparel T-shirts fit like, or what Anvil, AAA fit like, so I want to make T-shirts that warrant the price point. They're a different vibe. I'm making mine in Italy, and they're not too lightweight, and I'm thinking about everything that goes into them, like the fit and even how the ink takes to the fabric."
In such a crowded market, it's about knowing when and where to sell his tees. As Abloh says, "I can come up with 30 T-shirt designs in a day, but it's just about where to slot each of them...It's about knowing where to buy things, not this mass thing you can get anywhere."
So what are some of his favorites? Namely, a Kris Van Assche "Fuck You All" T-shirt, and Drake's OVO Fest-exclusive "Charged Up" tee. But when it comes to design consistency (and some of his personal favorites), naturally, Abloh shares his love for Supreme:
"Supreme is like the best example of A-level thought process, execution, and reference point for that area of streetwear. It's why I subscribe to the label. The level of thought in their think tank is amazing."
Read the full interview over at GQ.