“Insert Complicated Title Here” / Virgil Abloh
“What’s my DNA?” Virgil Abloh asks an overflowing auditorium at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Abloh goes on to provide his audience with a “cheat code”—advice he wishes he had received as a student. He then unpacks a series of “shortcuts” for cultivating a “personal design language.”
Trained as an architect and engineer, Abloh has translated the tools and techniques of his student days into the world of fashion, product design, and music. His label, Off-White, works in seeming contradictions, marrying streetwear with couture, collaborating with brands like Nike, Ikea, and the Red Cross; musicians like Lil Uzi Vert and Rihanna; and “mentors” like Rem Koolhaas.
Impervious to hurdles (“They literally don’t exist.”), Abloh takes us behind the scenes of his design process, sharing the essentials of editing, problem-solving, and storytelling. He paints a picture of his DNA, and then flips the question: What’s your DNA?
Edited by Jennifer Sigler and Leah Whitman-Salkin
Designed by Åbäke
Published by Sternberg Press and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2018
Softcover, 96 pages, 25 b&w illustrations, 5.3 × 8.25 inches