To the moon and back: That’s the journey Ib Kamara took in less than a year as Off-White’s art and image director. After the “Lunar Shipping” and space traveling theme explored in his past two collections, for resort he went straight back to the roots of the brand’s founder Virgil Abloh, landing on American soil for inspiration.
Kamara had a wide grip in approaching the seasonal reference, as he mixed sportswear sensibility, hip hop nods, ‘90s silhouettes, Western hints and tattoo culture in a lineup delivering that cool, young-thinking and on-the-go spirit he is committed to preserve in the brand while he works to gradually elevate its offering.
Basketball was the main sport of choice, mirroring Kamara’s personal favorite (he pointed to the Chicago Bulls as favorite team – and recent collaboration for the brand – as well as revealed he used to play the game when younger). While feminine see-through versions of basketball jerseys blended different textures via lace, ruffles and beaded details, the male counterpart was literal in its reinterpretations, ranging from leather jerseys with numbers and bomber jackets resembling the actual orange ball up to pinstripe suits with numbers and in relaxed fits.
Tailoring also came via detachable bands on sleeves – a subtle nod to western movies, according to Kamara – or statement pieces such as leather trench coats. Tattoo culture was addressed in different ways, including disparate motifs depicted on oversized jacquard cardigans or an x-ray print of objects splashed on fringed minidresses, nylon frocks or baggy denim pants. “It’s a nod to the heavy security you have to go through at the airport,” said Kamara about the pattern.
While these made for flashy graphics, the highlights of the collection were hybrid minidresses and gowns in jersey, silk and lace that mixed sporty elements with lingerie. Rendered in black and white or pastel hues, these best balanced Kamara’s mix of references as well as the sense of effortless and youthful sophistication he wanted to deliver.