Off-White Beauty – Paperwork
Michael Meir-Wright looks at the new range from Off-White Beauty
Sometimes, our world can seem like a strange, polarising place that prefers to always see things in simple, binary terms. Male or Female. Straight or Gay. Black or White. To an outsider it might seem as though there’s no middle ground to be found anywhere. To upset the status quo is to be seen as disruptive, even dangerous. Yet the richness oftentimes comes from the cracks between the norms. This was something that the late Virgil Abloh always recognised. He made it his mission to define and celebrate those that live their lives outside of the lines. This enduring legacy and sense of spirit can be found in Off-White’s new “PAPERWORK” BOXES –– a reimagining of beauty as a toolkit for self-expression and the realisation of potential, no matter who you are.
This unique collection comprises three boxes. Each one uses a specific sensory experience to reinforce and celebrate individual self-identity. OLAFACTIVE ID contains four distinct fragrances created in collaboration with leading perfumers. COLOUR MATTER repositions nail polish as an extension of the self and transforms them into rich textural, celebrations. The third, IMPRINT, draws inspiration from Abloh’s love of street art and culture, with a selection of pigment crayons as the ultimate symbol of individuality. And in a nod to Off-White’s well-known playfulness, each box comes with one of three figurines from Mattel’s Masters of the Universe – a further clarion call to rediscover the child within each of us.
“PAPERWORK”’s emphasis on the senses also extends to its packaging. A riff on the inherent thrill of unboxing a new toy or gadget, each layer is designed to tease, tantalise and surprise. From the neon green wraparounds to the soft, sponge-like interior padding –– it’s as intriguing for the eyes as it is a tactile experience for the hands. For the environmentally conscious, the recyclable boxes are also made from cellulose wood pulp sourced from sustainably managed forests.
As much as anything, this project shows that Virgil Abloh’s drive to create spaces for conversation and creative expression will continue to live on long after his passing. For that, we can all be very grateful.
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