1. Virgil Abloh
I first caught wind of Virgil via Kanye West. Virgil is probably someone that a lot of people are hip to. Chicago bred; Virgil has made a name for himself with his Off-White clothing brand. Rappers, actors, etc, Virgil has everyone in Off-White. High in price, Off-White is one of the few high end brands I respect, because of the fact that it is of good quality and is pleasing to the eye. Virgil launched his first brand titled “Pyrex Vision” in 2012 and has been on a run ever since. Some people didn’t think he was going to stick around, they thought he was just a good friend of Kanye West who was just trying to get some fame off of his name. Virgil quickly put any doubt to rest as he continued to make a name for himself.
In addition to design, Virgil also specializes in architecture. Virgil has been one of the driving forces behind Kanye West tour merchandise, which is always a hit. Virgil’s RSVP gallery, based in Chicago is also something that you guys might want to check out. Not being afraid to make a statement and step out of his comfort zone is what got Virgil in the position that he is in today. You can tell by his pieces that he isn’t afraid to go against the norm or go against what people think is cool. One of Virgil’s biggest accomplishments came recently when he was featured in Vogue magazine, a highly credited high-end fashion magazine. In the article he spoke of things such of his travels, early beginnings, and his architect process. Check out the interview here. Be on the look out for the Off-White SS 16 collection, and in the mean time follow Virgil on Instagram: @virgilabloh
2. Eric Emanuel
2nd and my favorite of the three is Eric Emanuel. So when I first came across Eric’s instagram profile in early 2014, I knew he was on to something big. The FIT grad makes a living designing jerseys for some of your favorite entertainers. What sets Eric's jersey apart from your average NBA or NFL jersey is the python material which has become almost his signature. Branching out, Eric has also worked on some jackets in which you can check out right here with this eagles bomber as well as this New York Yankee's coaches jacket. Basically, Eric Emanuel is a New York based designer who is creating some pretty timeless sportswear pieces. Syracuse bred; Eric is a basketball lover who says that his favorite team sports team is the Syracuse Orange. What I like most about Eric’s rise is that he doesn’t want to merge into anyone else’s lane. He was compared to the likes of Don C as people drew comparisons between the two.
While Eric was thankful for the praise and comparisons he went on to add that the two of them are doing completely different things with Don specializing in Hats & Shorts and Eric just jerseys. Eric said that at one point in time he was interested in doing shorts, but quickly decided not to when he seen Don doing it. That’s what its about in fashion, not over saturating a certain product. When everyone has a certain thing, it gets boring and people begin to search for that new thing. We seen this happen plenty of times with waves such as the snap back, the top hat (which we saw celebs like Pharrell & Future wear) and even Jordan's. This happens because no one wants what everybody else can get a hold off.
Eric’s jerseys have been worn by the likes of Young Thug, Fabolous, Travis Scott, Ian Connor and plenty more. Eric shy's away from the limelight, keeping his jerseys in certain shops not wanting the big exposure that will over saturate his product. Eric has been a big inspiration of mine when it comes to fashion because he took an idea, put in the time and work and is now making it happen. I remember telling my brother when I first came across Eric’s page he would be big really soon, and its happening right before my eyes. Eric has a partnership with Mitchell & Ness, and if you are looking to shop for one of his jerseys check out his website right here. Also if you don’t already follow him on instagram @ericemanuel
Another disciple of Kanye West, Jerry Lorenzo is another person who under the influence of Ye has carved out a niche for himself. Creator of the “Fear Of God” line, Jerry has been a force to be reckoned with in recent years. The brand thrives off of well put together color palettes, nice fits and premium quality. Fear Of God shows a lot of love to the 80’s and 90’s culture, as Jerry is heavy on rock band vintage tees. The brand isn’t forced, as you can tell it is truly an expression of Lorenzo’s thoughts. He put his twist on something that means a lot to him and came out with an outstanding product. In an interview with hypebeast Jerry was asked if he was a competitive person. “That’s probably the best question I’ve [ever] been asked. I’m a competitive person. I’ve never dominated anything in my whole life. I’ve always been the kid that made the basketball team, made the baseball team, made whatever team and was a really good player but never dominated any [particular] sport, however I’m such a competitor that I’ll always be in the game”.
The quote resonates with me a lot, whether or not you think he’s good at what he does, his work will always make sure that he’s around and that you are aware of who he is. Lorenzo recently put together a video look book for his fourth coming collection that you can see right here. Similar to the story of Eric Emanuel, Jerry spoke about how he was creating things that didn’t even represent him, and were already being done by people. Pretty much when he started creating things that were meaningful to him is when he started to see results. What attracts me most to Fear Of God most is that it is minimal. Now-a-days you have these designers who like to do the most and put together these awful designs. Jerry keeps things simple and puts together pieces that might not have the flash that some other brands have, but are easy on the eyes. Jerry’s pop up shop in LA is one that you should check out if you are ever in the area. In the mean time check out Jerry’s website here and follow him on instagram: @jerrylorenzo