Off-White’s sales have grown by 21 times in just 4 years, which is beyond the reach of most luxury fashion brands, but this happened before 2018 Times takes turns, and the popular spicy chicken in street fashion has changed from Supreme to Off-White. Under the pursuit of consumers, whether it is the brand Off-White or the founder Virgil Abloh, the popularity in the industry has continued to rise in recent years. From launching cooperation series with brands such as Nike and Rimowa and Japanese street fashion master NIGO, to holding exhibitions and giving lectures, Virgil Abloh is like a spinning top that will not stop, active at the forefront of fashion trends. Perhaps it is precisely because of Virgil Abloh's enthusiasm for fashion that Off-White has maintained its position in the top three since it jumped from 34 to the top of the LVMH-invested fashion search engine Lyst fashion list in 2018, even during the epidemic. has not changed that fact. In the latest 2020 annual fashion report, Off-White's masks have become the most popular fashion items. In terms of performance, Off-White is also continuing to write the myth. The annual sales soared from 2.6 million euros in 2014 to 56.5 million euros in 2017, which also means that it has achieved a 21-fold increase in just 4 years. Some luxury fashion brands are far behind, arousing growing interest in the market. Although the fashion industry has never lacked emerging designer brands, in addition to a group of Internet brands that rely on e-commerce, there are only a handful of brands that have entered the mainstream fashion industry and formed a commercial scale in recent years. However, with the full digitization of luxury fashion brands, in the ever-changing fashion world, how long can Off-White stay in the head? Can you keep going forward? No one dared to jump to conclusions. LOGO trend and 3% gold theory: The success of a brand is highly related to timing. Trend culture from the marginal to the center is the east wind of Off-White’s development. Off-White was founded by Virgil Abloh in Milan, Italy in 2014. The full name is “OFF-WHITE c/oVIRGIL ABLOH”, which means “the gray area between black and white”. A lifestyle that blends beauty and high-end fashion. Compared with other street fashion brands, the Off-White Logo inspired by the warning stripes on the road is extremely conspicuous. The black and white crossed arrows, black and white stripes, words enclosed in double quotation marks and other patterns allow consumers to see at a glance in the crowd. Being seen, it also gives the brand a high degree of recognition. Another point of view pointed out that the advantage of Off-White is that it is not inferior to Rick Owens’ high street sense and is more recognizable than Givenchy, and also has a youthful trend sense. The concept of street design and fashion is in this A just right balance has been found in the brand. With the eye-catching LOGO, while maintaining a strong street flavor and incorporating fashion elements, Off-White’s products have won the favor of Justin Bieber, Kanye West, G-Dragon, Wu Yifan, Luhan and other stars as soon as they were launched, and caused the pursuit of trends. At the same time, I want to show my young hipster’s attention. Compared with other street fashion brands, the Off-White Logo inspired by the warning stripes on the road is extremely public With the accelerated penetration of the Internet in daily life, the LOGO trend has intensified since 2018. In just two years, almost every brand has launched LOGO T-shirts, sweaters, sweaters and scarves… Any single product with a LOGO printed on it has become an explosion. When everyone is still wondering whether the initiator of this trend is Vetements, Balenciaga or Gucci, Off-White has soared to the forefront with the speed visible to the naked eye. In the list of 100 most influential people in the world in 2018 released by Time magazine, Virgil Abloh and designer Christian Siriano became the only two people in the fashion industry. According to the report, the striped pattern and arrow logo created by Virgil Abloh for Off-White have become the vane of the current trend, and it also represents the mentality of a new generation of young consumers. Understanding will further impact global consumers. However, behind the hot LOGO trend, Off-White’s ascent has become more and more tortuous. In 2018, Off-White sued a number of retailers from China on the e-commerce platform Wish for selling counterfeit Off-White products, demanding $2 million in compensation for each allegedly infringing seller, and prohibiting them from continuing to sell on Wish during the lawsuit. open for business. In 2019, Off-White sued accessory brand Rastaclat for plagiarizing a bracelet called “Off-Clat c/o Rastaclat”. Off-White believed that the product used Off-White’s classic quotation marks and red zipper elements to try to confuse consumers. Let it mistakenly think that it is an Off-White product. Stimulated by successive infringement incidents, Off-White, which has taken precautions, has become the most active street fashion brand applying for trademark rights in recent years, but it has been repeatedly rejected because the LOGO design is too street-like and everyday. From September 2019, Off-White’s legal team began to apply to the US Patent and Trademark Office to register a large number of trademarks. The brand first started by registering the special usage of a quotation mark. Off-White believes that it has formed a unique market identity on keywords such as “Off”, and the quotation mark is particularly critical. Then Off-White also submitted an application for the “Product Bag” logo on the product packaging. However, both applications were rejected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The United States Patent and Trademark Office believes that the two marks are only descriptions of the packaging and cannot indicate that the products are from Off-White, nor can they be used to identify and distinguish products from other brands. For the same reason, Off-White’s red lock and the latest “FOR WALKING” application were also not approved. This means that Off-White’s highly recognizable logos are not legally protected, which undoubtedly creates a huge risk for the brand’s future development. What makes Virgil Abloh even more troublesome is that Off-White’s LOGO has been accused of plagiarism by people from all walks of life. The Instagram account Diet_prada, known as the “fashion police”, once posted that Off-White’s iconic Logo was suspected of plagiarizing the 1965 Glasgow Airport Logo design. The Complete Book appeared on Virgil Abloh’s desk. In 2019, Off-White also received allegations of alleged federal trademark infringement, unfair competition and common law trademark dilution from OffWhite Productions LLC, a New York-based marketing and design agency. The latter said that the company has been established since the 1990s, and the official website domain name and social media accounts are also named “Offwhite”. After Virgil Abloh founded the Off-White brand, the company’s exposure on the search page has dropped significantly. affect performance. In addition, Virgil Abloh’s “3%” gold theory has also become a hidden danger. The golden essence of Virgil Abloh’s theory is to change the original object by 3% to become a new trend, and to successfully make any of his designs become the hottest item, which is not accepted in the traditional fashion industry that attaches great importance to originality accepted. In January 2018, New York-based Chinese-American designer Phillip Lim accused Off-White of copying a handbag in Off-White’s affordable series “For All” of copying the 3.1 Phillip Lim Alix handbag it launched in 2015. Off White immediately took down pictures of related products on social media. Virgil Abloh’s “3%” gold theory has also become a hidden danger On the red carpet of the 2019 CFDA Awards, Virgil Abloh’s blue skirt suit customized for supermodel Gigi Hadid was pointed out as the style in the 2019 autumn and winter series of the New York Vietnamese designer Peter Do’s eponymous brand. A dress from Off White’s Spring/Summer 2019 collection has also been spotted looking very similar to the finale gown from couture label Giambattista Valli’s Fall 2014 Haute Couture collection. At the beginning of last year, a skirt in the Off-White 2020 spring haute couture series was found to be only a blue sweater inside the white dress skirt of Givenchy’s new series, which was suspected of direct misappropriation. Robin Givhan, a fashion critic of the Washington Post, said bluntly in the show review that the fashion industry always draws on and innovates on existing things, but Virgil Abloh does not create anything new. “He is indeed a designer of our time, but He will also be replaced soon.” Streetwear that doesn’t survive ten years In 2019, the penetration of streetwear in the luxury fashion industry accelerated. In the third quarter, Off-White once again overtook Gucci and Balenciaga to the top of the world’s popular fashion brands. Surprisingly, at this peak, Virgil Abloh, who resumed work after a two-month break, changed his attitude of burying his head and rushed forward in an exclusive interview with the well-known author Emma Hope Allwood for the British media Dazed, and showed an unprecedented attitude. The modest and candid prophecy that “streetwear is not far from death”. In his opinion, there are already enough T-shirts, sweaters and sneakers on the market, and the new trend vane in the next ten years will be vintage. Embody personality and temperament.” As the initiator of the upheaval of trend culture in the past ten years, Virgil Abloh’s “self-criticism” of street culture is undoubtedly surprising, and the fashion industry exploded in an instant. What surprised the industry even more was that Virgil Abloh’s prediction was soon fulfilled. The first to fall from the altar was Vetements. Since August 2019, when co-founder and creative director Demna Gvasalia suddenly announced his departure, the brand has gradually faded out of consumers’ attention. The once-popular Vetements has fallen from the altar The lack of fresh design and expensive pricing has caused Vetements to gradually lose the support of consumers and retailers. After rushing to the top three of Lyst’s list in the third quarter of 2019, the brand’s ranking continued to decline. In the first quarter of last year and In the second quarter, it dropped to 16th and 18th, and Vetements was no longer in the top 20 of the third quarter list. Supreme, which was once regarded as the dominant street fashion brand and threatened not to be incorporated by capital, has also officially joined the VF Group this month at a price of 2.1 billion US dollars. Many consumers who love Supreme continue to be immersed in an atmosphere of loss of faith, and they have not been able to accept this fact. The reason why Off-White is still in the top three now may be that streetwear has never been the battlefield that Off-White and Virgil Abloh aimed at. The first is the brand level. The purpose of Off-White’s creation is to better integrate street trends and high-end fashion. The positioning is “tide luxury”, that is, the luxury goods in the tide brand. The product pricing is much higher than the traditional fashion brand from the beginning. . At the same time, Virgil Abloh also endowed the Off-White brand with more connotations through continuous cross-border co-branding. In addition to men’s and women’s clothing in different seasons, Off-White also set foot in the home furnishing field in 2016, launching the first furniture series “Gray Zone”, and successively showing his collections in various places. In 2019, the joint series launched by Off-White and IKEA triggered a wave of consumers’ panic buying, which made Virgil Abloh’s artistic aesthetics penetrate more deeply into the daily life of the public Streetwear was never a battleground for Off-White and Virgil Abloh Off-White and Nike’s joint sneaker “The Ten” series is another dimension aimed at by Virgil Abloh. Under the halo of basketball star Michael Jordan, Nike’s Air Jordan series is irreplaceable in the hearts of street youth and wealthy young consumers. Influence, on this basis, coupled with the brand value of Off-White, the series of products became instant hits. The Ten joint sneakers launched by Nike and Virgil Abloh are regarded as one of the most classic joint series in history. The price of the shoes in the series has been raised to tens of thousands of yuan in the second-hand resale market, which is 5 times the original price. Virgil Abloh beat Gianvito Rossi and Ronnie Fieg to win the best sneaker of the year at the 31st Achievement Awards with the Air Jordan 1 in The Ten series. According to sources, Virgil Abloh and Nike are about to launch a new The Twenty series, and some analysts speculate that this means that the number of shoes in the series will be twice that of The Ten. According to Nike news, the new book “ICONS”, which records the behind-the-scenes stories of The Ten series, will be officially released on January 22. The book traces the research and creative process of Virgil Abloh, and deeply explores how to integrate various invisible materials in design practice. Culture meets sneakers. Obviously, Virgil Abloh’s own vision is farther than street fashion and fashion. In his eyes, clothes are just the tip of the Off-White wheel. “If you limit the meaning of a fashion designer to making clothes, that narrows the fashion designer. A piece of clothing is more important than its fabric, and the clothes can express meaning, express something about a generation. Feel free to say a brand or design. designer, Ralph Lauren or Margiela, it can take you into a different world because everything they do has a meaning. For me, this is the fashion designer today, and this profession is not limited to people outdated definition of .” Can you balance LV and Off-White at the same time? It now appears that Off-White’s popularity is highly related to Virgil Abloh himself.In September 2019, Virgil Abloh, who also served as the creative director of Louis Vuitton menswear for a year and a half, announced that due to health problems, he would immediately suspend work, will not participate in the Off-White ready-to-wear show in Paris, and will also be absent from collaborations with Nike and IKEA. Public events that require an appearance.At the busiest time, Virgil Abloh worked on 5 to 6 projects at the same time, launched a series of cooperation non-stop, and also held a personal retrospective exhibition “Figures of Speech” at the Art Institute of Chicago in the United States.In an interview with Vogue, Virgil Abloh said that he was deliberately reducing his working hours because he was too tired from his work. For a long time in the past, he maintained international flights eight times a week, but since August 2019, he has It is already difficult to recover from the exhaustion of long international flights. Eventually Virgil Abloh returned to work after a two-month break. Virgil Abloh isn’t the only designer who has been forced to stop working due to health problems. Due to two syndromes of Kleine-Levin and Ehlers-Danlos, Sophie Hulme announced in early 2019 that it would gradually close the business of the same name brand.Sophie Hulme said she didn’t want other investors to steer her company in other directions and chose to close rather than sell it. Sophie Hulme founded the eponymous brand in 2008 and entered Tmall in August last year. At present, the company’s annual revenue has reached 9 million pounds.Chinese-American designer Alexander Wang chose to return to his personal brand after serving as the creative director of Balenciaga for three years. Contrary to him, Balenciaga creative director Demna Gvasalia chose to sacrifice his brand Vetements in favor of Balenciaga.Looking back on Virgil Abloh’s career, he has been in the industry for nearly two decades.Virgil Abloh, who was born in Chicago, was not a fashion major. During his studies, he majored in “architectural engineering”. In 2002, 22-year-old Virgil Abloh joined Kanye West’s creative team DONDA and stayed in that position for 14 years.In 2009, Virgil Abloh also moved to Fendi with Kanye West and interned at the Rome headquarters. Three years later, Virgil Abloh founded the streetwear brand PYREX VISION, revealing his ambition to combine street fashion with high-end fashion for the first time.Out of his admiration for the artist Duchamp, he did not choose to start from scratch, but quoted the concept of “Readymade”, purchased vintage shirts from Ralph Lauren for $40 each, and added silk-printed brand words and numbers to the final design. Sold for $550 each.However, due to the lack of clear memory points, PYREX VISION only survived for one year, but it was this failure that laid the foundation for Off-White’s future success, whether it was to create a sense of form through quotation marks, or to use speed bump patterns. This clear symbolic design to grab the attention of consumers is the lesson learned by Virgil Abloh at PYREX VISION.Therefore, compared to Virgil Abloh’s personal energy, what really makes the industry vigilant is the fashion industry’s questioning of Virgil Abloh’s innovative ability.From an intern at Fendi to a designer in the fashion circle, Virgil Abloh only spent a short ten years, but his high influence comes more from adapting to the “rhythm” of the current market. Copying and appropriation, a lot of repetition, and any combination are his creative methods, but the simple and fast creative production process is also easier to be subverted.At the moment when both material and meaning are “overcapacity”, the combination of speed and quantity has become the core competitiveness, but just like the difficulties that traditional fast fashion such as Zara and H&M are suffering from, this rule has been difficult to gain a foothold in the industry. In order to cope with the 6 to 8 fashion collections of luxury brands every year, as well as a variety of capsule collections and marketing activities, the entire fashion industry, especially creative talents such as fashion designers, are overstretched.As 2019 has become a watershed for sustainable fashion trends from niche to mainstream, most people in the fashion industry have almost put aside their hesitation and are ready to enter a new era. If Off-White wants to go further, it must make new Change, after all, in the face of increasingly savvy consumers, Virgil Abloh’s “3%” gold concept is gradually losing its persuasiveness.From a management perspective, sustainability may just mean boring numerical metrics and policy improvements, but in the creative world, designers are exploring what sustainability means from a more human and diverse perspective.Significantly, the British luxury e-commerce platform Farfetch said earlier that the contract between New Guards Group and Off-White principal Virgil Abloh will last until 2035 and will not be renegotiated or terminated before 2026.What also needs to be vigilant is that even if Off-White decided to open a store in China very early and landed in Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin and Xi’an, its partner I.T is now unable to protect itself and will be delisted in the capital market. The group admitted in the announcement that the retail industry is experiencing unprecedented challenges, and the outbreak of the epidemic is even more of a blow.Fashion is always human. It seems today that Virgil Abloh’s success essentially stems from its response to the community’s cultural and emotional appeals. But with the gears of the luxury fashion industry turning faster and faster, how long can Virgil Abloh burn? Can Off-White avoid the “fire for three years” rule? Still a big question mark.