Ib Kamara’s first Off-White show in Paris was a star-studded celebration
An Off-White show is always hypey, but last night the roads surrounding a theatre in the North of Paris quite literally came to a standstill, such was the volume of fans crowding the pavement outside hoping to either to blag in or get a selfie with their favourite celeb. Some even clambered atop a parked car to get a better view.
Titled “Celebration” in homage to founder Virgil Abloh, whose sudden death last year shook the industry, the show was the first since 32-year-old Londoner Ib Kamara, who’s also Editor-in-Chief at Dazed magazine, was named Art and Image Director of the brand in April. It took place on the eve of what would have been Abloh’s 42nd birthday.
“Virgil left us such a great brand that can reinvent itself, grow and stand the test of time,” said Kamara, who picked up the reins on a collection partially started by Abloh before his death in 2021. “We moved parts and changed a few things here and there with his intentions in mind. It had to ultimately come back to celebrating him and his actions.”
Naomi Campbell, Yasin Bey, Chloe Bailey, Evan Mock, Rickey Thompson, Honey Dijon and Erykah Badu were among the famous faces to walk the blue carpet into the venue. Fellow London designers Jonathan Anderson and Maximilian Davis also showed up to support.
The same invigorating, electric blue hue (which the brand is in the process of registering with Pantone) was everywhere: from the carpet to the lighting that bathed the room and the costumes of the Blue Man group-style dance troupe that performed a mesmerising routine to the live afro-punk music from band Tshegue while models walked. Several models, all of whom were new faces, also wore head-to-toe Off-White blue.
The 55-piece men’s and women’s collection broke away from Abloh’s streetwear inflected design motifs, and embraced a more playful aesthetic. Hydrangeas, which each guest had been sent pre-show, appeared as adornments on navel cutouts and creeping up to ears. Anatomical references abounded. A blue suit was stitched in white with the outline of a torso and faded tromp l’oeil skeletons were printed on skirts and suits in heavy Japanese denim. Cropped leather motocross jackets were zipped up over the mouth and paired with matching micro minis.
Kamara took his bow wearing a Jenny Holzer print t-shirt, also worn by all staff and gifted to guests, that will go on sale to support Planned Parenthood, a continuation of a project launched by Abloh in 2017.