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Magazine: 'Off-White's Arrows'
In today’s streetwear’ world there are few logos so recognizable as Virgil’s Off-White. The brand which only exists for six years has become one of the hottest fashion brands. Virgil’s approach on graphic t-shirts, luxury sneakers and celebrity endorsements are responsible for this big rise. You wouldn’t expect the brand’s famous logos to be inspired by the mid- ‘60s rebrand of a Scottish public airport. Yet this is where Virgil took his inspirations from for Off-White.
When the Brittish Railway system hired designers Kinneir and Calvert they designed a typeface named ‘Rail Alphabet’. This font is available on six thicknesses with the lightest weight named ‘Off White’. In 1964 the designers were asked by Glasgow Airport to produce a flexible logo, one that could be easily expanded and adapted to meet the requirements. This is where the logo with the arrows was born. The cherry on top: Calvert and Kinneir also designed a paint scheme for the airport’s vehicles, forklift trucks and flight ladders, consisting of the arrow logo with yellow striped tops so that they are clearly visible for airplanes. Considering Virgil has a degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in architecture, it’s likely he encountered the world of public works projects through his classes.
Virgil may have borrowed these logos from the airport, Virgil’s success comes from his ability to recall and reference. Some of the brand’s most popular garments feature reprints of works by Renaissance artists.
The fashion world is filled with multi-talented artists who find inspiration across every facet of their lives. Hedi Slimane being a photographer and Karl Lagerfeld once illustrated a children’s book. Virgil is among other things also an international DJ, his ability to sample and reinterpret existing successful works could be the secret behind his success.
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