Why the Off-White show in Paris is a political statement

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Why the Off-White show in Paris is a political statement

Autumn/Winter 2024-2025 fashion shows

Off-White reminds us that life is a dice game driven by chance, but we are the ones who decide and to play we need solid values: equality, freedom, legality, justice, respect for one's origins and diversity.

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Off-White Autumn/Winter 2024-25

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Ibrahim Kamara brought the new collection for Autumn/Winter 2024-25 to the catwalk at Paris Fashion Week . Officially, the signature is his, but it is clear how much the designer took inspiration from his predecessor Virgil Abloh , who passed away prematurely in 2021. Abloh was part of the collection, Ibrahim Kamara said in a recent interview with Vogue , thus acknowledging the legacy of the founder of the Maison and dedicating to him a show full of homages to black culture and full of politics . Just “Celebration” was the theme.

Pop culture mixes with politics

If on the one hand Kamara looks to the past, to the history of the Maison and therefore to its deep roots, on the other he projects himself to the future and designs it as he pleases, giving free rein to his creativity and letting himself be carried away by everything that is important to him : African origins, the values of freedom, equality, justice . You can feel all this in the show brought to the catwalk, obviously represented through the clothes: oversized blazers, down jackets, futuristic coats, pastel shades mixed with neon nuances are the protagonists. The primary source of inspiration was a trip to Japan, which made him reflect on how hyperconnected the contemporary world is, how distances have become shorter, but at the same time we are humanly more distant. Starting from the reflection on the American influence in the East, he moved on to the influence of black culture on the United States of America itself .

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The designer chose a significant location: in the background of the room two gigantic dice stood out, accompanying the models' journey on the catwalk, as if immersed in a human-sized board game. Life is a game : it is a reference to the more playful dimension of existence, to not having to take ourselves too seriously because, like in a game of dice, everything is decided exclusively by chance. The dice, however, also return printed on t-shirts and remind us that the future is in our hands, that the decisions are up to us. Even if we are moved by invisible threads, we in turn have other threads to manage with our hands.

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And to do this, solid values are needed. If the garments play on color contrasts and combinations of different fabrics, it is to remind us of the importance of diversity . We are not all the same and this is a good thing if we consider it an opportunity for exchange and growth. This is why Precious Lee, Ajok Daing, Joan Smalls and Jourdan Dunn walked the catwalk: models all different from each other, all equally precious to give space to the diversity of bodies and origins, which have equal dignity.

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Finally, legality . “ASK legal” we read, in reference to the urgency of committing ourselves to building a world guided by freedom and justice (but equal justice for all), a highly current and at the same time dangerous message. But Ibrahim Kamara consciously chose to parade a message that was celebratory, aesthetic and also political. ” Do you think I asked the lawyers for approval of the name of this show? No. I knew it sounded bold, but it felt right. It was born spontaneously, from a place of deep feelings and unfiltered expression “: it is no coincidence that they open with these words of his the notes of the fashion show.

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