Written by Hannah Thompson
Achieving a universally ‘cool’ status is something that many set out to achieve, but few actually master. There are of course the models and IT girls, such as Bella Hadid and Hailey Bieber that exude a constant cool girl aura with their mix of otherworldly natural beauty and insouciant off-duty style. Elsewhere, beauty brands like Glossier and Pleasing have managed to curate a level of hype that’s cemented them in millennial and Gen-Z culture for good. But, when it comes to what gives a beauty brand cult credentials, there’s no tried-and-tested formula. Or so we thought.
It’s not often a brand comes along that feels truly different. Enter Off-White’s new beauty line, ‘Paperwork’.
An extension of late creative director Virgil Abloh’s vision for the luxury label, Off-White’s ‘Paperwork’ opts out of the heavily-branded approach that has characterized many beauty launches of the last decade, instead presenting a line-up of cosmetic and fragrance products with a canvas-like aspect to their design and function, allowing the user to attach their own individual interpretations of what beauty is to them.
The first collection leads with an exploration of scent, touch and sight. A physical manifestation of Abloh’s vision of the brand as ‘another canvas, another surface for human expression,’ the brand has returned to slightly familiar territory with a fragrance. After dipping its toe into the world of perfume with Off-White x Byredo collaboration a few years ago, ‘Paperwork’ will be launching with four fragrances named ‘Solution.’
Forgoing names and gendered connotations, the quartet of fragrances, priced at £135, will simply be numbered 1-4, and have each been conceptualised to invoke a particular mood.
The aim? That the blank canvas concept woven throughout allows the wearer to explore the fragrances without any prior expectations, focusing simply on the notes that they find themselves drawn to. Even the perfume lid is quintessentially Off-White, designed to replicate the industrial handles used in fragrance factories.
Beyond scent, ‘Paperwork’ has created a colour line which explores Abloh’s concept of ‘tagging’ the body, something Off-White presented in their most recent AW22 show, where models walked the runway with silver scrawling lettering and blocked capitals spelling out ‘Babe’ and ‘Face.’
Giving avant-garde beauty lovers (and Off-White fanatics) the opportunity for experimentation are Imprint, a range of pigmented crayons for the face and body, as well as Template, a conversely named set of stencils which encourage the user to embrace individuality through their use, rather than following a cookie-cutter, one-size fits all approach.
Lastly are the Color Matter nail polishes, made up of six different finishes, shades and textures, including Pixel (a luminescent glitter polish to rival any disco ball) and Decode (a self-cracking white varnish).
Thankfully, this beauty collection won’t be as hard to get your hands on as Off-White’s coveted designer garments. Launching the same day as Farfetch’s new beauty venture, you can shop the first ‘Paperwork’ drop from 20 April at Farfetch as well as directly from Off-White, with the rest of the range launching next month.