For some, a T-shirt is just a piece of clothing. But for Virgil Abloh, it's the impetus behind his entire fashion career. The designer's first collections for his now-defunct streetwear label Pyrex Vision and Milan-based brand Off-White both featured tops emblazoned with graphics and numbers. The response was unprecedented, thanks in no small part to hype delivered by his good friend and frequent collaborator, Kanye West.
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Now, Abloh is harking back to his early design days with an exclusive T-shirt for InStyle's new and improved March issue starring model and actress Emily Ratajkowski, who wears it on our cover. "The T-shirt has always been important to me in a fashion context," Abloh said recently by phone. "I've always wanted to design one that is coveted. My goal [as a designer] is to clash different worlds together. I often say, 'I want a brand that's in between Supreme and Céline.'"
The T, designed in cahoots with our editor-in-chief Laura Brown, is made using Off-White's signature high-grade cotton, and features "IN" in '80s-style typeface across the front, and "STYLE" on the back. "Typography is everything," Abloh added. "I like to make things that are approachable, but I'm very particular about fabrics. I can assure you that it took years to find the cotton that we used." Virgil Abloh's T-shirt is now available for $120 at Off-White.