Nearly 6 months have gone by since the untimely passing of Fashion Great Virgil Abloh, who leaves in his wake, alongside many achievements and accolades, his legacy brand Off-White. In the following months, there was much speculation as to who would take on the helm. But as of April 30th, it has been announced that Ibrahim Kamara, appointed Editor in Chief of Dazed Magazine in 2021, has been appointed as Art & Image director for the brand.
Founded in 2012 by the late designer, Off-White is a testament to Abloh’s influential and visionary talents. The brand’s final show, following his creative direction which graced the halls of the former Paris stock exchange last February during Paris Fashion Week, was no different. Titled Spaceship Earth: An imaginary experience, the show served as Abloh’s “manifesto for his democratic and inclusive fashion revolution” and was live streamed across the world, honouring the designer’s final work in a reverent silence from all in attendance.
In a statement released to Off-White’s official instagram, it was announced that Kamara would be joining Off-White as a “collective of creatives and overseeing the artistic direction of the brand”. In the statement, Andrea Grilli, CEO of Off-White™ since 2019, wrote:
“In the wake of Virgil’s tragic passing we have been working tirelessly to keep his legacy alive and the brand relevant as a point of reference and platform in constant evolution. Inspired by Virgil’s vision and approach to his art we have nourished a collective of creative minds that represent the best in their category and have a strong and personal connection with Virgil. Having Ibrahim on board, who has been part of the Off-White™ family for years styling our shows, to oversee art and creative of the brand in this next chapter is a great honor. With his talent and vision we look forward to taking on the next chapter of Off-White™ together, always remembering the groundbreaking creativity and values that Virgil had at heart and that are the core of our brand”.
Shortly followed a statement from Kamara announcing his new role, released on his official instagram, that read:
“Virgil will forever be with us. With me. He changed the world and left an indelible mark on anyone who encountered him and beyond. Generous with his time, mind and creativity – he saw everyone and created with all humans in mind. I am honored to further link my ties to Off-White™️ as their Art & Image Director and be a part of the team that will tell the rest of the story Virgil started writing for us all” – Ibrahim Kamara, Art & Image Director Off-White™️.
Mentored by the late Barry Karmen, British stylist Kamara already boasts a prolific career. Working alongside Abloh on his most recent collections up until his passing – the pair had built up a strong creative repertoire as well as a personal friendship. Alongside his work with the late designer, Kamara has worked with a slew of brands and creatives on campaigns, runways and editorials, and is well-known for his creative genius and image-creating prowess.
Studying at Central St Martins, Kamara’s work has continually challenged perceptions and notions of gender and cultural identity through visual storytelling.
Having worked alongside brands including Louis Vuitton, Labrum London, Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, Kenneth Ize and Erdem, Kamara has been particularly credited with the creative overhaul of Burberry alongside Riccardo Tisci on the SS22 show and campaign imagery. Kamara was named winner of the Isabella Blow award just a day after Abloh’s tragic passing.
Other work includes his project ‘2026’ exploring the future of masculinity, exhibited in Somerset House’s ‘Utopian Voices Here and Now’ collection, Solange-Knowles’ produced film ‘Passage’, Sampha’s short film ‘Process’ directed by Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar, Eyty’s SS22 ‘thirst trap’ campaign. He is also famed for his iconic 2021 Dazed cover featuring Rihanna.
The industry remains unsettled by Virgil Abloh’s passing, but he leaves behind a rich legacy that those that knew him are committed to preserving.
Genius prodigy Ibrahim Kamara, with his unique perspective and personal connection with the late designer, stands to breathe a renewed energy to Off-White, while continuing on its founder’s unshakeable heritage.
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