13 Designers Who Are Their Own Muse

Virgil Abloh, the late designer who led Louis Vuitton menswear and his own label, Off-White, was another king in wearing his designs. In July of last year, Abloh arrived at a Louis Vuitton dinner wearing a black suit with multicolored buttons, a white shirt and a tie marked “A Formality”. That cheeky logo message was a signature detail in his Off-White pieces, where his boots could read “For Walking”. Rick Owens, the dark prince of fashion, also has a wardrobe full of his signature pieces – he’s practically draped in his slender black shirts and monstrous-looking shoes all day long.

Virgil AblohPhoto: Getty Images

However, it’s not just about the art of wearing your own clothes on the streets. Designers like Gabriela Hearst have even appeared in their lookbooks, featuring their loud and proud outfits. Others, like Miuccia Prada, have designed their shows based on their approach to disguise. When Prada models tighten their coats, for example, it’s a clear nod to Miuccia. The same goes for Ralph Lauren’s blazers-with-jeans or Demna Gvasalia’s oversized sweatshirts: you can see them in the garments.

Sure, it may seem like an obvious idea. Of course, designers produce clothes that they would like to wear. But designers are not always such mascots of their own work. Take someone like Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo. A master of all-black minimalism, his wardrobe challenges the voluminous, colorful and avant-garde pieces he sends to the catwalk. This could also be said of Tom Ford, the curated and appropriate designer whose ready-to-wear garments exude sex appeal. The personal style of a designer does not always imitate his collections. But in today’s world, where everyone needs their own personal brand, perhaps designers are realizing more and more of the power of self-advertising.

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