Earlier this month, when the international glitterati trundled into London for the 2022 edition of the Frieze Art Fair, Off-White™ staged a behemoth get-together. It was the embodiment of everything the label’s about: bringing together a megamix of tastemakers from across fashion, art, and music to celebrate its new collaboration with Church’s. There, the two brand’s transformed St John’s Smith Square into a cobalt-hued oasis, dubbed “IMAGINARY CLUB”, with performances from Yussef Dayes, CKTRL and George Riley – figureheads of the city’s neo-jazz scene.
Curated by Virgil Abloh’s longtime collaborator Benji B, the event followed in the footsteps of the label’s “IMAGINARY TV” and “IMAGINARY DINNER” concepts. It’s been a little under a year since the designer tragically passed away, but the reverberations of his massive impact on fashion and its many offshoots and arms still rumble as loud as ever and his legacy continues to live on through a succession of projects and collaborations like these, the seeds of which were planted prior to his death.
This particular collection marks the third time that Off-White™ and Church’s have joined forces, with this hat-trick offering up a new take on two of the Northampton-based brand’s recognisable styles: the Shannon and the Burwood. Incorporating Church’s meticulous craftsmanship, which has been honed across the course of the last 300 years, the styles get the innovative Off-White™ touch through a series of new signature elements. The Shannon is a classic brogue, remastered by Abloh through white stitch detailing, Off-White™ logo-emblazoned laces, and one of Abloh’s signature tags, in this instance rendered in deep green leather.
The Burwood, meanwhile, is a more robust, chunky affair. With a high-shine leather upper, padded tongue, and the same branded laces as the collection’s ‘Shannon’ style boasts, the Burwood comes complete with distinctive, criss-crossing fuschia laces that evoke the fastenings of mountaineering boots. Naturally, they’ve got a green leather tag too.The Burwood particularly is emblematic of Virgil Abloh’s cut-and-splice approach to fashion. The designer was renowned for pulling inspiration from endless sources – from Manchester’s legendary Haçienda nightclub, to Princess Diana, to Glasgow Airport (supposedly).
The Off-White™ and Church’s collaboration is available to buy right here.