Anyone familiar with Virgil Abloh knows that he's a busy guy. Aside from helping fellow-Chicagoan Kanye West get out his Yeezy Season collections, Abloh has started a scholarship at his alma mater, operates RSVP Gallery, and heads up the LVMH award-nominated Off-White. While Off-White has made its name for its menswear collection, and recently its women's line, Abloh is looking to make his burgeoning brand bigger and better than ever. How? By designing furniture.
In a new interview with i-D, Abloh opens up about his process, why he calls himself a "creative director", and his aspirations with Off-White. Abloh admits that while he's constantly bouncing between ideas and locations, Off-White is the one project that provides him with a level of previously unaccessible freedom. Abloh told i-D, "For all of my collaborative projects, the unit has a say. But now I have a platform to have an idea, not second guess it and share it with the world."
Perhaps it's this openness that has allowed him to consider taking on furniture design. Telling the magazine that he started with menswear, and branched into womenswear to "design fully," it's his love of aesthetics and "design" that has him leaning towards showcasing furniture. "Furniture—that's what's next because it goes back to my original passion for 'design' design and objects, shapes and form," Abloh says. "I'm working towards a gallery show of furniture in late 2016, early 2017—another platform of creativity to showcase my ideas."
Considering that other well-known and respected fashion designers have history with furniture—Raf Simons studied furniture design in university, and Rick Owens has an upscale line of home furnishings—it's not as outlandish a jump as one might think.
But it's not all conceptual luxury homegoods for Abloh. Like his scholarship program implies, Abloh is also about sharing his industry knowledge with the generation of creatives coming after him. "If you really want to do what you say you do, leave this conversation and do it," Abloh adivses. He credits his successes—from Pyrex Vision to his LVMH award nomination—to this go-getter mentality.
"If I hadn't sat on Illustrator and gone to the screen printers to make it a reality, then it wouldn't have happened—everything else is a domino effect. Pyrex, Off-White, LVMH Prize nomination, my Spring/Summer 2016 womenswear show, it all comes from a moment that happened four years earlier in which I took an idea and got it made. It might be obvious, but for anyone reading this, finish it and then make shit happen, give it to your friends and then boom, you've entered the domino effect phase. Just do it. Line them up and let that first domino drop."
Read the full piece over at i-D.