Fashion designer Virgil Abloh, who is also the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection, founded his Off-White brand as a ready-to-wear streetwear label back in 2012. He previously teamed up with Bantal —director of architecture firm OMA — to design “Figures of Speech”, a retrospective exhibition of his career at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago / MCA.
And just recently, Abloh and Bantal have designed the Off-White flagship store in Miami Design District. It’s a fulfilment centre and a multipurpose events space, designed to rethink how physical shops should operate amid the growing popularity of digital shopping.
“We’re niche entities, AMO, Off-White, Samir and myself, so we’re able to sort of wear our heart on our sleeve or our brain on our sleeve.” Abloh
“If we’re able to kind of fulfil our needs by ordering a lot of things online, what’s the role of a physical store?” Bantal added
According to Abloh, the idea is that the store is versatile. The designer cited the annual Art Basel and Design Miami events that take place in Miami, as examples of when it could be used to host a variety of activities and cultural events — like art, music events, and talks.
Located at 127 NE 41 Street in Miami, the store is fronted with an opaque polycarbonate wall on the ground floor that can be pushed back, squeezing the storage of the apparel to the rear and opening the front to the street.
Inside, you will find mesh ceiling panels, walls lined in corrugated metal, and floors rendered in lightly stained concrete. Off-White apparel will be displayed on either stainless steel shelving or black marquina and white Carrara marble rails. All the furniture is placed on wheels or is collapsible so it can be moved about to accommodate events.
The pared-back style acts as a backdrop to a series of artworks that will be installed in-store and the bold electric blue stair that leads to the first floor. On this level, the Off-White brand intends to host more intimate events, like dinner parties.
The store joins a number of fashion flagships in Miami Design District, a hub for design boutiques, luxury fashion brands and art galleries.