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Right now, one of the hottest memes on social media is the 10-year challenge. It requires comparing a recent photo of yourself with the person you were a decade ago.
Depending on an individual’s sense of self, the results for the most part are pretty stark, a snapshot not just of how trends have changed, but also an introspective glimpse at people in progress.
“Childhood memories. That’s what forms your taste, identity, and visual language before you get to be an adult,” Virgil Abloh tells Highsnobiety backstage at OFF-WHITE’s FW19 runway show.
Today in Paris, Abloh presented his latest collection for his own brand. Titled “PUBLIC TELEVISION,” it was equal parts inspired by nightly newscasts, PBS programs (the opening song was the theme from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood), and a hint of gardening.
Today’s millennials were teens in the pre-Instagram era, from brooding LiveJournal users to ubiquitous scene kids with MySpace pages. But before social media and the internet helped trends, brands, and creators like Abloh proliferate en masse, there was television.
“It’s kind of like an evil. It’s not this pure, serene thing,” Abloh says. “I think it’s a profound medium, that television has to shape a generation. And now my generation can do that through Instagram.”
To wit, his muse for FW19 is the “teenage newscaster,” re-sampling the authoritative suits of news anchors and placing them in the context of social media-hungry youth. Playing Ghostface Killah during the show was also a nod to hip-hop’s roots as a subversive news source of its own.
The collection is the latest addition to Abloh’s vocabulary of elevated streetwear driving the high-fashion conversation. As our preferred news sources have changed, so have our style idols. Offset and Playboi Carti walked during the show, with the former making a strong case for being one of Paris Fashion Week’s best-dressed celebs.
The streetwear community has grown into a global, digital neighborhood. And Abloh, like Fred Rogers, is well aware of his position as a pillar of his community.
Now, take a look backstage at OFF-WHITE’s new footwear offerings for FW19.