Between Paris’s 10th and 18th Arrondissements on Wednesday evening, Virgil Abloh opened his pop-up Empty Gallery as a preview of his soon-to-arrive New York City store, which will go by the same name.
The vaulted, light-filled space held an Yves Klein blue box, in which projections of his Pitti Uomo Off-White show, rendered with Jenny Holzer, were displayed, as well as the physical collection itself. “The idea is that people walk by the fashion . . . not that the fashion walks by you,” said Abloh.
The mood was buoyant as wine was poured and beers were popped. Abloh’s lineup, displayed in a narrow corridor at the back of the vaulted room, looked just as impressive up close as it did under the lights in Florence. “We’ve diluted fashion down to hoodies and jeans on the runway,” he said, surveying the scene. “And there’s obviously intellect in fashion, but it is so distilled—down to normcore at its fullest. What space is there for fashion intelligence to exist? This space is filled with that intent.”
And it did feel smart. Virgil mentioned being in a good mood, after having vacationed with one Mr. and Mrs. Kanye West in the Bahamas a few weeks ago. And he was elated, still, about having worked with Holzer. “I thought it was a long shot, like, hey, I’m going to call Picasso and see what he’s doing. I’m so grateful that Jenny agreed to work—and to play—with me.”