Behind the scenes, both Off-White and parent group New Guards have recently restructured their respective executive mastheads. Meanwhile, the brand that first propelled NGG to such a powerful position continues to evolve under the creative direction of Ibrahim Kamara. Last season, Kamala took us to the moon (not in encrypted form) via Sierra Leone. In this resort series, he continues to mine the cultural spaces created by the forces of globalization, the digital diaspora and the gravity of personal identity in a changing century.
The title of the series is “Homecoming”. “It’s about getting back to the fundamentals of Off-White,” Kamara said. “And I also wanted to do a series that had an American sensibility… As a Native African, I explored my vision of America and how we relate that to The first people in America to connect.” Astronauts recalled that once you were on the moon and looked down, you realized we were all from the same place. Kamara said he wanted to express a “native global language”.
This intent was resolved into a collection filled with symbols specific to Off-White and the wider cultural brand. Kamara’s denim tropes in “Western” tailoring are paired with ragged “Buffalo” pinstripes, and silhouettes allude to Ray Petri-ation’s process through the designer’s Londoner sensibility. Ribbed jersey tank tops and lace combine to blend into twisted, draped womenswear pieces. We turned to the realm of Stevie Nicks and Don Henley, in dainty draped lace-trimmed yellow leather dresses. Knitwear and handkerchiefs feature embossed tattoos, which Kamara says will become a regular theme for the label. Here, the elements are both menswear and womenswear, as are scan prints meant to represent the Off-White middle ground of global travel. Vitamins, gaming equipment, baseballs, and Off-White branding files are all in there.
Numbers 23 are designed as pinstripes and printed sport grosgrain stripes blend into the cut. A menswear look, a jacket and shorts, was cut from basketball leather, while a Gabicci-inspired jersey button-down top with a paisley print featured the key number on the back. Kamara said the brand’s recent partnership with the Chicago Bulls has allowed him to be identified here (Michael Jordan’s number is 23). Layered oversized denim and gabardine field jackets feature a new expression of the company’s four-arrow logo, while side-zip knit sweaters feature an intarsia of the Manhattan skyline and a hot air balloon on the front. “We’re back on Earth,” Kamala said, “to explore the beautiful clothes you want to wear.”