What is Off White?

Find out how streetwear king Virgil Abloh’s vision became the “hottest brand on the planet”, and how to wear Off White Belt

No one does luxury streetwear quite like Off-White. Diagonal zebra stripes, zip ties, arrows, quotation marks, yellow industrial tape belts…Virgil Abloh’s Off-White merges unique, subversive, and instantly recognizable designs with exquisite made in Italy craftmanship.

This hybrid has stolen every fashionista’s heart…including ours.

virgil abloh off-white designer

History of Off-White

American designer Virgil Abloh (above) laid the groundwork for Off-White in 2012, when he founded his first company: Pyrex Vision. Having been recently appointed creative director of Kanye West’s creative agency, Donda, Abloh conceived Pyrex Vision as an artistic experiment: he bought deadstock Ralph Lauren rugby flannel shirts, screen-printed the company logo and the number 23 on them, and resold them for $550.

Pyrex Vision was embraced by celebrities but, a year later, Abloh considered the experiment completed and rebranded the company; Off-White was born. The brand’s motto: “defining the grey area between black and white as the color Off-White”.

“I decided if ‘streetwear’ was gonna be the sign of the times, I was gonna define it rather than be defined by it,” Abloh told Dazed. “I needed to […] define what ‘streetwear’ could be.”

Over the years, Off-White has collaborated with countless brands and designers, including Nike, Moncler, IKEA, Converse, and Jimmy Choo, as well as the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art. Abloh’s futuristic designs, which range from men’s hoodies to women’s long dresses, are adored both by “traditional” celebrities and social media influencers, and Abloh himself has reached superstar status. 

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who owns off white

In 2018, Virgil Abloh was appointed artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear line, following the departure of Kim Jones. This makes him one of the few black designers at the helm of a heritage fashion house, and the very first African-American designer to lead a European label. In July 2021, LVMH (Louis Vuitton Möet Hennessy) bought a 60% stake in Off-White.

Off-White Size Chart

Off-White Size Chart

Off-White Industrial Belt: how to wear it

The Off-White Industrial Belt is undoubtedly one of Abloh’s most iconic designs. Inspired by an industrial strength strap, the belt is bright yellow and 200 cm long. It’s a utilitarian, edgy accessory that will not go unnoticed. But if you own one, chances are you have Googled “how to wear Off-White Industrial Belt” at least 10 times. If not more.

how to wear off white belt

We’re here to reassure you that you’re not the only one who found the extended length of this belt utterly confusing: the brand itself posted a “how-to” video on Instagram for clarification.

So, here’s how to wear the Off-White Industrial Belt according to Off-White:

  1.     Run the belt around your waist twice
  2.     Slide it through the buckle and fold it behind the top layer
  3.     Tie the belt in a knot

Done! Now you’re ready to walk out the door. Use the belt to cinch a blazer or a trench coat at the waist for a sophisticated yet edgy look.

But of course, fashion is about being creative. Which means you don’t have to follow Off-White’s guidelines, and you can experiment with wearing your belt in different ways to create interesting looks.

who made off white

Here are two of our favorite “unofficial” ways of styling the Industrial Belt.

Let it hang

  1.     Run the belt around your waist only once
  2.     Slide it through the buckle and fold it 
  3.     Tie the belt in a knot

Fasten your seatbelt!

  1.     Throw the belt over one shoulder, pulling the other end to your left side
  2.     Wrap the belt around your waist once
  3.     Slide it through the buckle
  4.     If you like, tie the remaining fabric in a knot

The Off-White Industrial Belt comes in an array of different colors. While the classic version is yellow and black, we find the black iteration perfect for a sleek and more subtle look. But of course the red and fuchsia version is also irresistible.

Now that you know how to style Virgil Abloh’s iconic Industrial Belt, discover our large selection of Off-White belts for men and Off-White belts for women.

Shop italist for up to 40% off on over 200,000 up-to-the-minute luxury fashions for women, men, and kids from leading brands like Golden GooseFendiGucciMiu Miu, and many more—direct from Italy’s finest boutiques to your door.

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About the Author

Alex English is the Head of Content Marketing at italist.com, building on a lifelong passion for fashion and luxury. After publishing a lifestyle blog for nearly ten years and obtaining an MBA in Milan at SDA Bocconi, one of Europe’s top business schools, he joined the italist team in 2019. His work since then has focused on upper-funnel messaging, brand storytelling, establishing italist as a thought leader in the space, and enriching the customer experience on the platform. Find him on LinkedIn.