The Design Dispatch offers expertly written and essential news from the design world crafted by our dedicated team. Think of it as your cheat sheet for the day in design delivered to your inbox before you’ve had your coffee. Subscribe now.
The world reacted with shock and sadness when Virgil Abloh, the polymathic creative director of streetwear label Off-White and Louis Vuitton menswear,died suddenly of cancer this past November at age 41. Insiders quickly began speculating about the future of Off-White, which became one of fashion’s fastest-growing brands under the peripatetic designer’s purview thanks to his charismatic blend of community, social progress, and asBusiness of Fashion describes, “hip hop’s penchant for sampling and remixing.” According to Lyst, which measures brand influence based on search, sales, and social media, Off-White surpassed high-fashion staples such as Gucci and Balenciaga by 2018, yet suffered a slight sales slip as the streetwear trend waned and Abloh said in 2019 that streetwear was “gonna die.”
Despite this, Off-White maintained its influence thanks to Abloh’s steady profusion of ideas. (Financial support from Farfetch, which purchased the ownership companyNew Guards for $675 million in 2019, and LVMH, which acquired amajority stake in Off-White two years later, also helps.) Under their ownership, the label has greatly expanded its direct-to-consumer e-commerce business and now operates 78 boutiques worldwide, selling everything from hoodies andceramics to deck chairs. Still, the question remains of how Off-White’s team of creative directors will uphold the brand’s legacy in Abloh’s absence.
Andrea Grilli, Off-White’s CEO, and David De Giglio, the force behind New Guards, favor the notion of a “collective” to usher in the brand’s new era. “He was very pragmatic, he trusted people. This allowed him to achieve what he achieved. Virgil was a maestro leading a perfect orchestra, and we’re confident in the team in terms of executing his legacy,” Grilli tellsBoF about Off-White’s cadre of creative directors overseeing women’s, men’s, shoes, knitwear, bags, and jewelry. The brand is also teasing a genderless beauty line during Paris Fashion Week. Adds De Giglio: “Virgil always said, ‘I want to open doors, to do something new with new people, with the kids.’ And the door is still open. We’ve suffered a big loss, but on the other side there is happiness.”
Diller Scofidio + Renfro finishes two new buildings for Columbia Business School.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro and FXCollaborative have completed a pair of buildings on the Manhattanville campus of Columbia University’s School of Business. The two light-filled structures, which are clad primarily in glass, were built in what the studio calls a “layer-cake” design. “Modern business practice is increasingly collaborative and non-siloed, and is predicated on an expanded adoption of technology, data, and advanced analytics alongside the fundamentals of traditional business education,” dean Costas Maglaras said in a statement. “Our new open, light-filled spaces reflect this reality.” The two new buildings, which are now open for use, reflect a master plan developed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.
Russian forces destroy a Ukraine museum with works by artist Maria Prymachenko.
The Ivankiv Historical and Local History Museum, located northwest of Kyiv, was burned to the ground by invading Russian forces. Lost to the fire were 25 works by Ukrainian folk artist Maria Prymachenko, whose colorful paintings were exhibited widely in the country and even appeared on stamps in the 1970s. Vlada Litovchenko, director of the Vyshhorod Historical and Cultural Reserve, described the loss as “irreparable” and added that other artworks were also lost in the incident. After Russian forces destroyed the museum, Ukraine called on UNESCO to revoke the country’s membership in the organization.
Jorge Zalszupin’s house turned museum in São Paulo celebrates his design legacy.
The Polish-Brazilian architect’s tropical home has been turned into Casa Museo Zalszupin, a cultural institution whose purpose is to honor his work and legacy. Local design brand ETEL and art gallery Almeida & Dale are overseeing the project whose interiors were designed by Zalszupin himself and reflect his knack for blending Scandinavian (wavey pine ceiling) and Brazilian (rough stucco wall treatments) influences.
Organizers behind the Venice Biennale’s Russian pavilion say it will “remain closed.”
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Russian pavilion at the Venice Biennale willno longer take place. The artists Alexandra Sukhareva and Kirill Savchenkov and curator Raimundas Malasauskas announced onInstagram that they will no longer participate and suggested there wouldn’t be a replacement. The news follows the organizers behind the Ukrainian pavilion pausing their own Biennale preparations, noting how they weren’t “able to continue working on the project due to the danger to our lives.”
An energetic restaurant and bar in Talat Noi, Bangkok, pays homage to the four elements of nature.
Inhabiting a historic building in Bangkok’s energetic Talat Noi neighborhood, Mother is a two-story restaurant and bar inspired by nature. Thai practice Taste Space employed an organic design language as a tribute to Mother Earth, including four abstract paintings behind the second-floor bar depicting the elements fire, air, earth, and water. Patrons entering the cavernous space will notice a massive tree root suspended from the ceiling above the entrance, while clay-colored walls recall the sun-dried bricks of adobe dwellings.
Dries Van Noten expands into beauty with a line of refillable lipsticks and perfumes.
Dries Van Noten is launching its inaugural beauty line of refillable lipsticks, perfumes, soaps, hand creams, and accessories. The move comes five years after Spanish group Puig, whose roots are in fragrance, acquired a majority stake in the Belgian label. The group’s other brands, including shoe label Christian Louboutin, have also made recent forays into cosmetics by launching nail polishes and lipsticks. According to the Business of Fashion, expanding into beauty will help Dries Van Noten drive brand awareness while reaching new customers thanks to the category’s much lower price points. The new collections will launch at Dries Van Noten boutiques and online on March 2.
Today’s attractive distractions:
New video footage shows a different side of the late Ricardo Bofill’s La Fábrica.