Virgil Abloh has collaborated with Swiss furniture company Vitra for a limited collection of home furnishings. The new pieces, which are available to buy on Basic.Space, serve as part of Abloh's mission statement to "bridge the canonized areas of design to a young generation."
The “Virgil Abloh c/o Vitra: US Edition," showing in Miami Design District, consists of a ceramic block, a Petite Potence lamp, and an Antony armchair. These items, originally designed by French architect Jean Prouvé, have been re-imagined by Abloh in baby blue (similar to the Nike Air Jordan 1 "UNC") and affixed with his signature industrial details.
The pieces are intentionally referential while clearly exhibiting Abloh's design codes, which refer to Abloh's penchant for the "3 percent rule." This method implies that by editing and changing pre-existing ideas by as little as 3 percent you can generate a new design and, as Abloh puts it in conversation with Nora Fehlbaum, CEO of Vitra, "recontextualize icons."
Abloh notes how Prouvé – who like Abloh, is self-taught – served as an inspiration for this project, “Jean Prouvé, worked as a craftsman, designer, manufacturer, architect, teacher, and engineer — he truly was a multifaceted designer and not limited to one 'discipline.' His many talents translate through his work – intertwining art with social consciousness. I feel interconnected with Prouve in light of, I too, work within many worlds; art, fashion, music, and philanthropy — meshing my ideas from these many realms together for a greater message to the world."
You can check out a conversation with Abloh and Nora Fehlbaum live on Abloh's Instagram later today where the two discuss how the installation can engender a whole new generation to take a newly energized interest in design. The two also discuss color theory – a recurring theme across Abloh's various projects, and arguably the foundation of Off-White™ – and why he chose baby blue for this project.
The products, limited to 999 ceramic blocks, 150 lamps, and 150 chairs are available to buy on Basic.Space, but you can also see the pieces at a special installation at 140 NE 39th Street in Miami, which is open to the public December 3 - 7, from 11 a.m. EST to 7 p.m. EST, as a part of Miami Design District.