Where there is art, there is history. And for those that have marveled at the art in the Musée du Louvre’s regal rooms, they’ve seen that relationship firsthand. As a former residence for the Kings of France, the palace has been at the center of history for over eight centuries. Since its opening as a museum in 1793, the Louvre has featured some of the world’s finest works, including the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. The museum is also known to hold the largest collection of Leonardo da Vinci paintings in the world, alongside 22 other drawings from the artist.
Now on view through February 24 at the museum is the anticipated “Leonardo da Vinci” exhibition. Joining the exhibition is a special contemporary offering, encasing years of inspiration through fashion—a capsule collection by Virgil Abloh’s label Off-White. The new pieces celebrate the life and works of the visionary artist and honors the 500th anniversary of his death in France.
“I was fascinated with da Vinci early on,” said Abloh. “I was in my senior year at Wisconsin, taking an art class. I was super interested not only by his artworks but also by the influence he had in many disciplines besides art—science, engineering, architecture… To me, he symbolizes everything the Renaissance was.”
Off-White’s new ready-to-wear pieces include tee-shirts and hoodies that feature the brand’s iconic markings, logo placement, and diamond arrows, mixed with some of the artist’s most famous paintings.
“I want to crash together these two worlds that are seemingly different: fashion and high art. It’s a crucial part of my overall body of work to prove that any place, no matter how exclusive it seems, is accessible to everyone. That you can be interested in expressing yourself through more than one practice and that creativity does not have to be tied to just one discipline. I think that Leonardo da Vinci was maybe the first artist to live by that principle, and I am trying to as well,” added Abloh.
The new collection was shot inside the museum’s Grande Galerie, emphasizing the relationship between art and history and the core inspiration of the collection.
“The Louvre has always been a place of life, of inspiration for the creators of each era. We are thrilled that Virgil Abloh’s eye on the Palace and the collections of the Louvre are at the heart of this multitalented artist’s creative process,” said Adel Ziane, Director of External Relations at the Musée du Louvre. “Collaborating with Off-White is also a way for us to reach a new audience, a new manner to interest them in the Louvre.”
For a limited time only, the collection is available for purchase online—on Off-White’s website and on Farfetch.com—and in stores at the museum’s gift shop, Off-White Paris, Off-White Milan, EM_PTY Gallery, and Browns.