Ibrahim Kamara and Isamaya Ffrench: Virgil Abloh’s Off-White long recovery and new projects through its creative director’s legacy

After the death of Virgil Abloh, which happened in November 2021, the luxury brand remained without a central figure. To ensure the thriving of the brand and the survival of Abloh’s legacy, Off-White has took a first step forward in 2022 by nominating Ibrahim Kamara the brand’s Art and Image Director and a second step in a new direction launching Off-White’s first beauty line with Isamaya Ffrench as Beauty Curator.

The American fashion designer and entrepreneur Virgil Abloh, who was also the artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear collection since 2018, founded Pyrex Vision in 2012.The fashion brand was renamed Off-White in 2013, and has become one of the most well-known streetwear brands as well as appoint of reference for luxury fashion in the past years. When in late November 2021 the news of the unexpected death of the company’s founder Abloh reached newspapers and social media, a period of almost six months in which Off-White remained without creative direction started.

An incredibly influential figure, as well as a beloved character in the fashion industry, Virgil Abloh left behind a strong legacy, which both New Guards Group (operating Off-White) and LVMH (which owns a majority stake in its Off-White’s intellectual property) saw as an opportunity to grow the brand into a multi-billion-dollar company. And so they did.

Appointed in April 2022, the 33-year-old stylist Ibrahim Kamara is the new art and image director at Off-White, joining a team that oversees the creative direction of Virgil Abloh’s streetwear brand. Having worked closely with the brand’s founder for years both for Off-White and Louis Vuitton, Ib Kamara is set to “keep (Abloh’s) legacy alive and the brand relevant as a point of reference and platform in constant evolution” as announced by the company’s chief executive Andrea Grilli.

“Lunar Delivery”, the collection which closed Paris Fashion Week on March 2nd this year, is the second work of Ib Kamara since its start as director at Off-White. The collection represents a step forward for the brand in the style of IB while maintaining its roots strongly in the ground, offering a clear example of what Abloh’s legacy looks like and how much the young stylist has to give to the brand.

A second relevant event which is unveiling what Off-White was meant to be and will continue being following the footsteps of Virgil Abloh is the launch of a beauty line called “Paperwork” in 2022. The line included gender-neutral fragrances, nail polishes and crayon-style liners. However, a figure to oversee the beauty products is missing. Or so it was until the brand named Isamaya Ffrench its Beauty Curator.

Ffrench is a makeup artist who is known for her conceptual approach to makeup artistry and the unusual materials and techniques she uses. Before joining the direction team at Off-White in February 2023, Ffrench developed makeup lines for different brands and launched her own brand in 2022. Off-White’s CEO Andrea Grilli said she is the right talent to “catapult the brand to the next level and “elevate its final perception”.

The message these new roles and lines are here to convey is that Off-White will grow bigger, stronger on the legacy that its founder Virgil Abloh left and bring his vision forward and beyond.

Alessandra Cappelletti

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