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The ever-prolific Virgil Abloh and his fashion brand OFF-WHITE officially launched a new project with Ben Gorham’s modern luxury house Byredo last night.

“Elevator Music” is a collaborative effort featuring a collection of fragrances, denim, T-shirts, and bags. To house the collection, Abloh and Gorham commissioned an art installation by friend and artist Carsten Höller. The German artist’s installation opened for the first time yesterday evening at Galerie Italienne in Paris.

Abloh and Gorham wanted to explore the relationship between products and human perception, examining the minimal amount of information required to understand a product’s purpose and value, in this case, luxury goods. The capsule collection’s title, “Elevator Music,” refers to sounds created for passive listening and asks the question: what do we take away from such experiences?

“Ben Gorham is one of my longest friends in the fashion industry. We share a common interest in progression,” explains Abloh. “The concept of our collaboration ‘Elevator Music’ was to define emotion with the least amount of effects. Much like literal elevator music we wanted the scent to play a background to one’s life.”

Byredo launched in 2006 as a fragrance brand but has since developed skincare products, accessories, and leather goods. “I have known Virgil even before the inception of OFF-WHITE so it’s great to be able to finally realize a project together within our respective brands,” says Ben Gorham, founder and creative director of BYREDO. “We have always shared a common understanding that relevance is everything and that the rules of our industry need to be somehow rewritten.” Like OFF-WHITE, Byredo is rumored to be working on products with IKEA.

Continuing the elevator theme, the capsule presentation featured an installation by Carsten Höller titled “The Elevator” which harks back to some of the artist’s previous work inspired by “elevator syndrome” — the notion that upon entering an elevator and selecting a floor, a person distracts themselves with their phone, avoids eye contact, and ignores any other individuals in the elevator. The installation’s soundtrack was provided by artist and musician Steve Angello whose sonic interpretation of the concept added yet another dimension to the idea that less is more.

The OFF-WHITE x Byredo collaboration will be available in May 2018; stay tuned for a closer look at the entire collection very soon. For all the latest, be sure to follow OFF-WHITE and Byredo on Instagram and check out the OFF-WHITE and Byredo online stores.

Check out the rinse-free hand wash line Byredo recently added to its offering.

Words by Aaron Howes
Branded Content Editor
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