Virgil Abloh c/o Vitra: US Edition
Launching during Design/Miami – three limited-edition designs.
VITRA HAS ANNOUNCED another collaboration with Virgil Abloh, whose Renaissance man approach across design disciplines continues to mark him as the sector’s sought-after name. Altogether titled Virgil Abloh c/o Vitra: US Edition, the three collectible designs include an armchair, a ceramic block with two mini storage units, and a wall lamp. The baby blue-coloured line expands Vitra’s 2019 collaboration with the architect, stroke DJ, sometimes engineer, university lecturer, artist, entrepreneur and creative director of Louis Vuitton – who during Art Basel had displayed the same objects in bright orange in the Fire Station on Vitra’s campus in Weil am Rhein. The backdrop in this iteration is a six-day long installation orchestrated during Design Miami/ by the designer’s London-based studio Alaska Alaska, in Miami’s Design District.
Chicago-born Abloh’s commitment to bridging the contemporary with the historic is reflected through the project’s main influence, Jean Prouvé. The French designer’s iconic armchair, ‘Antony’, from the 1950s receives a “next generation” make-over with the original’s shell-like curved plywood seat transformed into cloudy frosted plexiglass. In this edition of 150, Prouvé’s dark-coloured metal legs gain a sky-hued lacquer finish in tandem with the update’s overall aerial effect. Lightness is extended to the millennial version of Prouvé’s protruding wall lamp ‘Petit Potence’ from the 1940s. Abloh chose the variously-sized product’s smaller version and switched the regular light bulb for an elongated LED light inside a cage, emphasising its poetic minimalism with the project’s signature blue lacquer for an edition of 150.
Abloh’s design vocabulary in fashion, industrial design, architecture, music and fine art fosters the notion of a future freed from distinctions of race, class and gender. Here, his philosophy is best exemplified in the elegant interpretation of a simple industrial block, ‘Ceramic Block’ which comes in an edition of 999. Each identical block is emblazoned with a unique configuration of numbers and functions both as a decorative object and a mini shelf: individual yet equal.
Given this year’s limitations on travel, the products are also available to collectors through online design sale platform, Basic Space.