Off-White c/o Church’s by Virgil Abloh: a closer look at the latest instalment

Off-White c/o Church’s is one of the late Virgil Abloh’s final collaborative projects. The third drop, released this week, sees two more of the heritage British shoemaker’s styles ‘remastered’ through the American designer’s distinct lens

Close up of Off-White c/o Church’s leather shoes with quotes on laces
Off-White c/o Church’s designed by Virgil Abloh, worn by musician CKTRL
(Image credit: Courtesy of Church’s)

Earlier this year, in March, historic British shoemaker Church’s released the first instalment of its collaboration with Off-White, titled Off-White c/o Church’s. Masterminded by the late Virgil Abloh, it is one of the several collaborative projects which defined the American designer’s career at both Off-White and as men’s creative director of Louis Vuitton. 

First debuted as part of Abloh’s A/W 2022 Paris Fashion Week show for Off-White – which would prove to be the final collection before his death on 28 November 28 2021 – this month sees the third drop of the limited-edition collection, defined by a ‘remastering’ of Church’s classic designs (the first saw the brand’s storied ‘Burwood’ Oxford brogue, which dates back to 1953, emblazoned with ‘Special Events’; the second saw the ‘Consul’ shoe dotted with holes to evoke ‘Swiss cheese’ or ‘meteor showers’).

The latest instalment, which arrived in stores yesterday (25 October 2022), continues what Church’s calls Abloh’s ‘Question Everything’ philosophy – a slogan memorably written on white flags carried by models at the designer’s A/W 2022 show. ‘Virgil Abloh’s guiding philosophy and a reminder never to settle for the status quo,’ said the brand in a statement at the time. Here, this translates to what Church’s says is ‘an examination of design norms, while upholding the artisanal traditions and stylistic history of the British footwear brand’.

Off-White c/o Church’s: the third instalment

Musician George Riley sits on stool wearing blue bodysuit and Off-White c/o Church’s

Off-White c/o Church’s designed by Virgil Abloh, worn by musician George Riley

(Image credit: Courtesy of Church’s)

As such, this latest iteration of Off-White c/o Church’s comprises two styles – the ‘Shannon’, a Derby show first created in the 1970s, and a new version of the ‘Burwood’ which Abloh first reimagined as part of the collaboration’s first drop. The ‘Shannon’ – known for its ‘whole-cut’ design which sees the entire shoe constructed from a single piece of leather – is updated with a screen-printed scissor motif and dotted lines designed to mimic those used in patternmaking. It is completed with Off-White’s signature branded leather tag. 

The ‘Burwood’, meanwhile, sees the classic brogue – its perforated construction first designed to allow water to drain in wet weather – updated with a thick, spongey rubber sole. Distinctive bright pink laces are decorated with various quotes, another one of Abloh and Off-White’s aesthetic signatures. 

This latest drop was launched as part of Frieze Art Fair earlier this month with an event titled ‘The Imaginary Club’ which saw a celebratory evening of contemporary jazz (a ‘modern jazz club’ was erected in London’s St John’s Smith Square; performers, curated by Benji B included Yussef Dayes, CKTRL, George Riley, DJ Zakia and DJ Judah Afriyie). The two new styles are available now on Off-White’s website and Farfetch – though, as with other such mementos of Abloh’s pioneering legacy, they likely won’t be around for long. 

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Fashion Features Editor

Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*. Having previously held roles at 10, 10 Men and AnOther magazines, he joined the team in 2022. His work has a particular focus on the moments where fashion and style intersect with other creative disciplines – among them art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and profiling the industry’s leading figures and brands.