With his streetwear sensation of a brand, Off-White Virgil Abloh has seemingly done it all, from working with the likes of Nike and Jimmy Choo to even designing for Ikea. Now the designer crosses the senses for his first-ever fragrance designed in collaboration with cult-favorite fragrancier Byredo.
“We’ve been friends for almost ten years,” Ben Gorham, founder of the scent house, who first met Abloh in his hometown of Stockholm, tells CR. At that time Byredo was still in its infancy and Off-White had yet to be launched, but the two bonded over their shared creative inclinations and love of ideation not limited to just one medium.
“We immediately knew we wanted to do something together,” he says, but what that was exactly was hard to pin down. “We wanted to do everything! Virgil came up to me and said, ‘Here’s a T-shirt,’ and I said, ‘I have this idea for a bag.’ He said, ‘Well, I’ve got this other bag, and here’s this material.’ He had just been to Miami, and he’d seen the night club that Carsten [Holler] created for Prada.”
Eventually the concept for Elevator Music—what the two have titled their brands’ limited edition capsule collection—came to them. Spanning the sensual (fragrance), the physical (bags and ready-to-wear), the intellect (an exclusive recreation of Holler’s “The Elevator,” art piece from 2004, which debuted smack in the middle of Paris Fashion Week), the collaboration attempts to turn the mundane into something more—a challenge with which both are quite familiar.
Byredo’s line of highly acclaimed scents, candles, and beauty products has always reclaimed atypical or unthought-of occurrences—such as a tube of 1908s lipstick or even simply the color white—and transformed them into sophisticated aromatic experiences. While Off-White’s whole ethos combines street wear with high culture—Alboh’s Jenny Holzer collaboration this season is a perfect example. Elevator Music began in that same manner, with the goal to transform a background into a foreground—to “elevate” elevator music, what Gorham calls “a traditionally common space.”
The process afterward was rather natural, with each creative spring boarding ideas off each other. “Everybody loves the idea of a perfume, but it’s quite tedious in terms of development. And because it’s so technical—there’s a level of chemistry to it—it can be quite frustrating,” says Gorham. “Perfume is complex in a way that two raw materials that smell completely different together creates a third completely different smell. We had to through so many rounds, both of us smelling so many things to realize how to technically translate both our ideas into one.”
Following Byredo’s collaboration with Craig McDean last season, Elevator Music includes not only an eau de parfum, hand cream, hand perfume but also bags, denim, and clothing and is available now.END
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createdAt:Tue, 13 Mar 2018 13:18:57 +0000