Off-White And The Louvre Pay Tribute To Da Vinci With A Capsule Collection
To many, Virgil Abloh is the man who brought higher elements of modern day aesthetic culture – in particular fashion – to the masses. Through his endless youth appeal and diverse approach to re-imagining what elevated menswear could look like at both Off-White and now at Louis Vuitton, he's prompted an industry-wide rethink of how to make exclusive concepts accessible once more.
Now, through his Off-White imprint, Abloh has brought the same approach to one of the world's most famous artists, partnering with the Louvre to shed light on legendary artist Leonardo Da Vinci in honour of the 500th anniversary of the artist's death. However his appraoch isn't about shedding any further light on Da Vinci's universally known works, but rather, as he told Vogue, “to work with pieces that a wider audience perhaps has not been exposed to.”
"It was and still is a surreal experience knowing that those exact walls housed civilisations of art and ideas long before the present day,” Abloh said of the first time he stayed in Paris as a college graduate. “In doing this, I hope to inspire people to go on their laptops and do some research to find out more about what they’re seeing and wearing. To incite people to learn more about what they see here, to open this world up to them.”
Abloh has paid homage to Da Vinci before, even releasing a print of the Mona Lisa for people's homes as part of his collaboration with IKEA. He decided to pair up with the Louvre to expand on his love of the classical artist, using some of the renaissance genius's less-known works to pay homage to the wonder and whimsy of Paris's art scene.
The split goal of the collection, too, is to bring the concept of classical art and re-imagine it in a way that will make it feel accessible, relatable and interesting to a younger audience who may be more inclined towards modern forms of artistic expresseion than the classical forms of art and fashion that have long been the way in Paris.
“Since the beginning it’s been essential to my work to prove that any place is accessible to everyone, no matter how exclusive a place is or might seem,” Abloh said. “You can be interested in expressing yourself through more than one practice, and that creativity does not have to be tied to just one discipline. I think that Leonardo da Vinci was maybe the first artist to live by that principle and I’m trying to do that as well.”
You can check out more images of the collection below, and shop the entire The Louvre gift shop, and e-commerce, farfetch.com, off—white.com, and instore at Off-White Paris, Off-White Milan, EM_PTY Gallery, and Browns.