Demand for Off-White is increasing, following the death of Virgil Abloh. The demand for his designs has skyrocketed on resale sites, raising concerns that they are facilitating profiteering.
Following the tragic news of Virgil Abloh’s death, resellers reported a surge in sales of Off-White, the streetwear brand known for its characteristic crossed-arrow logo and usage of quotation marks. However, the spike poses a problem for resale sites, which may be accused of profiting off the death of a well-known business figure.
According to the RealReal, searches increased 893%. Customers were purchasing graphic tees, branded sweatshirts, and low-top sneakers. Searches for “Virgil Louis Vuitton,” where Abloh was the men’s artistic director, increased by 344%.
“Off-White” was the most searched term on StockX, one of the largest sneaker resale marketplaces, while sales volumes and prices of sneakers from Abloh’s sizzling collaboration with Nike and Jordan skyrocketed. According to publicly available sales data on StockX listing pages, the average resale price of the Off-White Jordan 1 Chicago, one of the most sought-after shoes from Abloh’s 2017 initiative with Nike to reinterpret 10 of its well-known models, has risen to more than $7,000. A pair in size 10.5 sold for $11,607.
Because StockX only offers new and unworn items, supply for certain types of sneakers might be quite restricted, causing prices to skyrocket. Other Nike collaborations with Abloh, such as various Jordan models and other designs from The Ten, such as the Presto and Air Max 90, saw more minor price rises.
However, platforms that operate marketplace models have a challenging dilemma as a result of the sales increases. While they don’t want to be viewed as profiting from a catastrophe or allowing vendors to profiteer, their business models are founded on supply and demand. Buyers and sellers set the price of goods on StockX; as demand for a product grows, so does its price. Platforms have previously dealt with this issue, most recently with NBA player Kobe Bryant’s death in January 2020.
In honor of the designer’s legacy, StockX will make a donation to the Virgil Abloh “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund.
With the introduction of Off-White in 2014, Abloh popularized streetwear at the highest levels of the fashion business with the support of Milanese company New Guards Group, which operates the brand under a license arrangement that will last until at least 2026. The designer passed from a rare form of cancer at the age of 41 in late November 2021. The news was announced on his Instagram account.
Photo via Mellowedhigh/Hypebeast