Online retailer Mr Porter isn't wasting any time in 2019. Only two weeks into the new year and the luxury menswear site has already announced a capsule collection in collaboration with one of the most in-demand menswear brands in the world - Off-White.
Dubbed "Modern Office", the collaboration will include 20 ready-to-wear pieces, 18 accessories and 6 pairs of footwear that fuse the graphic urban sensibilities of the Italian streetwear label with Mr Porters refined aesthetic.
"'Modern Office' harmonises classic business attire with streetwear, making the collection its own special entity that the youth and older generations can both understand," muses Off-White CEO, Virgil Abloh.
"[The collection is inspired by] the besuited business man and that young skater hanging out in the park on the Lower East Side. Those two worlds gracefully colliding into one."
With the state of corporate style continually being challenged from all angles, this collaboration adds an extra depth to the concept of "office wear". Casualisation of the corporate environment (or the corporatisation of the casual wardrobe, if you wanted to look at it from another angle) has seen a flexing of boundaries when it comes to menswear.
This blurring if lines is something key component of the Off-White message - defining the grey area between black and white as off-white - and here it's represented in the loose-fitting silhouettes that defy traditional norms in tailoring.
From shirt to shoe
While the capsule remains redolent with Abloh's street aesthetic, it does retain a sense of structure that definitely makes it permissible to rock in the office. Trousers are pleated, given volume and shape, while a matching coat replaces the blazer to soften the look.
Shirting is strictly street - logo'd T-shirts and long sleeve shirts; a short sleeve black shirt has Off-White repetitively scrawled in cursive font across the body. But for many it will be the footwear that creates the biggest hype.
Both high- and low-tops and slides all baring the Off-White arrow motif or logo carry enough cult clout to potentially come the must-have footwear of the season.
While you may not see them on the feet of your local investment banker mid trade, prepare to see them present at every tech start-up or worny by creatives at a standing desk in your vicinity.
Evolution of style
In the larger picture of Mr Porter's ongoing collaboration with key brands sold on the site, this is a nuanced addition. (Previously, the brand has worked with the likes of Balenciaga, Sandro and Prada.)
"The Mr Porter x Off-White collection is unique as it's the largest capsule ever produced with a retailer to date," explains Mr Porter's buyer George Archer.
"In the past year we have launched a series of incredible exclusive capsules from Prada, Ralph Lauren and visvim – to name a few – so we felt this was the right time to partner with more of a 'hype' brand to offer our customers something different. Off-White was of course the natural go-to, even more so with Virgil's phenomenal presence in the industry at the moment which doesn't seem to be slowing down at all."
Mr Porter x Off-White collaboration will be available online at mrporter.com from January 21.