Launching his Pyrex Vision line at Colette in Paris, i-D online met Virgil Abloh to find out how his vision came together and what makes the perfect Pyrex team.
Virgil Abloh is a name you should be familiar with, if not there is a high chance you’ve seen his work, on i-D online for starters. A creative director, visual artist and designer, he hails from Chicago and is an architect by training. Using a keen eye and exceptional taste, he knows what you like, even if you don’t. His love for music has allowed him to create visuals for your favourite hip-hop artists from Kanye West to A$AP Rocky. Launching his own solo project, Pyrex Vision, at the end of last year with the tagline “Youth Always Wins”, he’s created a line of wardrobe staples for kids that want to rule the streets and look good while doing it. Virgil believes that the kids are the future and we know he ain’t wrong.
How did Pyrex Vision the blog, evolve into a clothing line? It is a representation of the importance of youth culture. The now. It’s basically my manifesto on my upbringing. Putting my idea in a unique way so that kids can participate. I just wanna start a brand that inspires and is geared towards youth. The internet generation, these kids that you see here today. It is all for them. Growing up at high school we all used to wear Champion garments which in America are standard issue gym uniforms. I based the majority of the pieces on that uniform, but an important factor for me was putting numbers on the back so everyone who wears it feels like part of the team.
Which kids would make it into the Pyrex team? It’s all inclusive everyone can be part of the team. It’s the kids that believe in themselves, they challenge what comes before them, they are interested in leaving their mark on fashion and the world. They are self taught, they have their own point of view, they’re just excited about life and are taking a proactive approach to redesigning their future. That’s the Pyrex team, the youth.
So tell me about the visuals? A lot of the visuals are by an art director called Jim Joe AKA Young Man, it was just a conversation on email. We just kept going back and forth exchanging ideas and I like the idea of working with an artist I respect and manifesting that into something real.
What has been the highlight of seeing the Pyrex Vision line come to fruition? I’m most proud of the video, we street casted it, the guys you see on the video, they are the youth of New York. Ian Connor, ASAP Bari, ASAP Illz, ASAP Ant and their friends and family are the perfect muses for this kind of project. In return I am helping them out with all their projects, for me it’s all a community based effort, we grow together.
What’s the next step for Pyrex Vision? Pyrex Vision’s first season was for me an expression of myself as an artist first, designer second. There is a seasonal component, but it’s not going to be based on a traditional fashion schedule but I’m not gonna say anything before it comes out. I got ideas so hopefully you will be seeing something else soon.
Text: Zainab Jama