NEW YORK, Dec. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Three limited and numbered edition products are available for purchase exclusively in North America through the online marketplace:
- First time “Virgil Abloh c/o Vitra” collection available in the US beginning December 3rd
- Abloh’s Alaska Alaska to debut installation in Miami’s Design District, powered by Cash App
Swiss design company Vitra and Virgil Abloh have collaborated to drop three limited edition “Virgil Abloh c/o Vitra” products, available today to U.S. consumers for the first time via online marketplace Basic.Space. At 9am EST, products will be available for sale globally through the site’s digital storefront, which will livestream the collection and a special DJ music performance by Pedro Cavaliere from a 6-day pop-up installation in Miami’s Design District. The installation was created by Abloh’s London-based studio Alaska Alaska and is powered by Cash App as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to support the creative community. Additional, Abloh and Vitra CEO Nora Fehlbaum will have a conversation about the collection that will air on Abloh’s IGTV channel.
“Virgil Abloh c/o Vitra: US Edition” explores the urgent need for inclusivity in design, and invites people of all generations, races and backgrounds to have conversations about both social issues and design topics. Virgil Abloh is known for pushing boundaries and using creativity to communicate socio-political messages while Vitra has a long history of undertaking experimental projects with designers, architects and artists that test the limitations of design’s predicted norms. Driven by the new mindset of Generation ‘Next’ – a forward-thinking psychographic that transcends age, gender, race, ethnicity and income – Basic.Space provides forward-thinking brands such as these with an innovative approach for reaching new audiences, turning the traditional retail model on its head. The Basic.Space community of creatives makes it possible for brands to speak and connect with this new generation that is changing the way we see the world.
“My mission has not changed. My hopes for this collaboration are to further strengthen this bond with the new generation, providing them with further inspiration, as well as room for thought and a sense of inclusion. This collaboration invites the new generation into the conversation – my work is meant to open doors for them,” says Virgil Abloh.
“What I find particularly inspiring about Virgil Abloh is that he comes to the table as an outsider, with a fresh look at our collection and a different pace, free of constraints,” says Nora Fehlbaum, CEO. “I’m interested in the way that he structures knowledge and passes it on to a new generation in such a condensed manner. He manages to shift the topic of design classics away from the discourse of an intellectual elite to make them accessible to a wider public.”
“We’re excited to partner with Virgil Abloh and Vitra on this thought-provoking collection, one that embodies inclusivity and design, while inviting a new audience to experience something unique. This collaborative release captures the essence of Basic.Space where brands and creatives can manifest their vision effortlessly both online and offline,” said Jesse Lee, founder of Basic.Space.
“Basic.Space offers a unique shopping experience that seamlessly integrates our digital and physical worlds. The platform is authentic, socially conscious and design-centric — traits that are inherent to our company and important to our customer. This partnership allows Vitra to interact with a new audience and the opportunity to meet the next generation of young design collectors,” says Melissa Shelton, Vitra North American President.
The “Virgil Abloh c/o Vitra: US Edition” collection is a spin-off to an earlier collaboration that dropped in 2019 on Vitra’s Campus in Weil am Rhein, Germany during Art Basel alongside a futuristic exhibition TWENTYTHIRTYFIVE. The three pieces – a Ceramic Block, along with the Petite Potence lamp and Antony armchair originally designed by Jean Prouvé, are reimagined in baby blue that Abloh intends to stand alone as an object with a function. The “hacked” Prouvé pieces represent the power of design to evolve in order to speak to a new generation.
“Jean Prouve worked as a craftsman, designer, manufacturer, architect, teacher, and engineer – he truly was a multifaceted designer and not limited to one “discipline”. His many talents translate through his work – intertwining art with social consciousness. I feel interconnected with Prouve in light of, I too, work within many worlds; art, fashion, music and philanthropy– meshing my ideas from these many realms together for a greater message to the world,” says Virgil Abloh.
“Practicing and welcoming inclusion – I created the “Post Modern” Scholarship Fund in effort to do just that. The mission of the Fund is to foster equity and inclusion within the fashion industry by providing scholarships to students of academic promise of Black, African-American, or African descent; recipients will not only be provided with funds, but will also be given access to vital career support services and mentoring. Art and good nature can change the world, I refuse to believe otherwise,” says Virgil Abloh.
“The teenager of today has become a creative doer who transforms his memories and experiences, all of the cultural and social influences, into his or her own products, thereby finding a personal field of activity,‘ says Fehlbaum.
The “Virgil Abloh c/o Vitra: US Edition” installation takes place at 140 NE 39th Street in The Miami Design District, and is open to the public December 3-7, from 11am EST to 7 pm EST, limited to five visitors allowed into the exhibition space at a time, in accordance with city guidelines and enhanced safety measures in place. Visitors can purchase limited edition and numbered pieces and enjoy live and digital experiences at the space.
In the installation, the visitor’s gaze is directed to the future with a wall of consecutively numbered bricks: the Ceramic Blocks. These glazed ceramic objects are not just a structural element but also take on a life of their own as storage objects in Virgil Abloh’s concept. The limited exhibition edition comprises 999 Ceramic Blocks, in baby blue, each with a noticeable numeral that makes it unique, and can be purchased directly at the Basic.Space “gallery,” modifying the structure of the installation, or on the curated online marketplace Basic.Space from December 3 to 7.
Jean Prouvé created the Potence wall lamp for his home in Nancy in 1942, and the design was soon produced in a range of sizes. Virgil Abloh is fascinated by the industrial clarity of this concept and integrates the smaller Petite Potence in his installation. He has accentuated the ‘industrial DNA’ of the design with a baby blue lacquer finish that gives it a new visibility, while a striking LED bulb in an oblong cage further enhances the appearance. Virgil Abloh’s version of Petite Potence is available in a limited and numbered edition of 150 pieces.
The armchair Antony was developed by Jean Prouvé in the early 1950s for the university halls of residence in Antony near Paris. With its dynamically curved wooden shell and characteristic metal base, this small armchair was one of the French designer’s last furniture creations. Virgil Abloh pays tribute to the iconic design with an updated version in his installation, he has transformed the armchair by giving it a frosted plexiglass shell, which is further accentuated by a baby blue lacquer finish. This version is available in a numbered edition limited to 150 pieces.
About Virgil Abloh
Born in Rockford, Illinois, Virgil Abloh is an artist, architect, engineer, creative director, artistic director, industrial designer, fashion designer, musician & Dj, and philanthropist. After earning a degree in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he completed a master’s degree in architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Chicago. At IIT, while studying a design curriculum devised by Mies van der Rohe, Abloh began to craft the principles of his art practice. The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presented a major traveling survey of Abloh’s work in summer 2019—one of the highest attended exhibitions in the museum’s history. Currently, Abloh is the Chief Creative Director and founder of Off-White™️ and Men’s Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton.
Creating innovative products and concepts with visionary designers is Vitra’s essence. They are developed in Switzerland and installed worldwide by architects, companies and private users to build inspirational spaces for living, working as well as public areas.
With its classics Vitra represents groundbreaking 20th century design. Today, in combining technical and conceptual expertise with the creativity of contemporary designers, Vitra seeks to continue pushing the boundaries of the design discipline.
A family business for eighty years, Vitra believes in lasting relationships with customers, employees and designers, durable products, sustainable growth and the power of good design.
The Vitra Campus with buildings by some of the world’s leading architects and the Vitra Design Museum with its exhibitions on design and architecture, design archives and a comprehensive furniture collection are all part of Vitra. They inspire visitors, inform the design process and create an atmosphere in which innovation flourishes.
In close cooperation with the Prouvé family, Vitra began in 2002 to issue re-editions of designs by this iconic French self-taught architect and designer.
Basic.Space is a curated online marketplace providing members with exclusive access to unique experiences and products from the iconoclasts of tomorrow. In September 2020, Basic.Space launched its new platform with digital storefronts, an entirely new and immersive shopping experience where members can shop from products featured in static shots and livestreams of creatives in their own space. Driven by the new mindset of Generation ‘Next’ – a forward-thinking psychographic that transcends age, gender, race, ethnicity and income – Basic.Space reimagines the shopping experience by combining the discovery of IRL with the accessibility of URL, shaping the future of retail.
About Jean Prouvé
Jean Prouvé completed his training as a metal artisan before opening his own workshop in Nancy in 1924. In the following years he created numerous furniture designs, and in 1947 Prouvé established his own factory. During the ensuing decades, Prouvé served as a consulting engineer on a number of important architectural projects in Paris.
He left his mark on architectural history again in 1971, when he played a major role in selecting the design of Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers for the Centre Pompidou as chairman of the competition jury. Prouvé’s work encompasses a wide range of objects, from a letter opener to door and window fittings, from lighting and furniture to façade elements and prefabricated houses, from modular building systems to large exhibition structures – essentially, almost anything that is suited to industrial production methods.
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