Models wearing “Figures of Speech” merchandise. (Photo: Alice Plati)
The shop, “Church & State,” offers apparel and accessories that Abloh conceptualized for the Brooklyn Museum, as well as Off-White couture and handbags inspired by the exhibition.
Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech,” opening at the Brooklyn Museum on July 1, 2022, traces two decades of visionary work by the late artist and designer Virgil Abloh (American, 1980–2021). The exhibition highlights his lifelong emphasis on collaboration that reshaped contemporary taste in fashion, art, commerce, design, and youth culture. Abloh’s exploration of the communicative power of design is underscored in the exhibition’s shop, “Church & State,” which functions as an extension of the show.
“Church & State” features “Figures of Speech” merchandise that Abloh conceived in 2019 exclusively for the Brooklyn Museum’s iteration of the exhibition. In a nod to Abloh’s graphic design roots, this collection reinterprets historically significant streetwear from the 2000s, using a range of logos and popular characters from the decade. The collection also debuts T-shirts and fleecewear for youth (ages six to fourteen), such as a Trojan horse graphic tee that symbolizes Abloh’s unconventional approach to social and structural change. Other items include hoodies, pants, caps, tote bags, notebooks, and keychains.
Limited-edition Off-White merchandise inspired by the exhibition includes smoking jackets, T-shirts, hoodies, and accessories. Also for sale are handbags emblazoned with an architectural drawing of Abloh’s SOCIAL SCULPTURE, an exhibition highlight, within the Brooklyn Museum; and a couture dress. In addition, four chairs from Abloh’s Gradient Furniture collection are available to order in thirty different colors (price upon request).
The Museum will also be the first retailer to carry the “Figures of Speech” publication since it went out of print more than a year ago. Published by DelMonico Books, the publication was created for the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s presentation of Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech” and will be available for purchase exclusively at the Brooklyn Museum Shop before it is distributed to other retailers at the end of August.
Access to “Church & State” is included with tickets to Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech.” Products are available on-site and online. Additional merchandise drops will take place throughout the exhibition’s run (July 1, 2022–January 29, 2023).
Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech” is organized by Michael Darling, former James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. The Brooklyn Museum presentation is organized by writer and curator Antwaun Sargent.
Exhibition design for Brooklyn Museum is by Mahfuz Sultan, Creative Director, Clocks, in collaboration with Tawanda Chiweshe and Francisco Gaspar, Creative and Artistic Directors of ALASKA ALASKA, and Lance Singletary, Director of Exhibition Design, Brooklyn Museum.
Exhibition design for previous iterations of “Figures of Speech” is by Samir Bantal, Director of AMO, the research and design studio of OMA.
Special thanks to Virgil Abloh Securities for their partnership.
The exhibition tour is made possible by Kenneth C. Griffin.
Major support for this exhibition is provided by Nordstrom and Northern Trust.
Additional support is provided by Braun.
Generous support is provided by the Brooklyn Museum’s Contemporary Art Committee.
Additional support is provided by the Norman M. Feinberg Exhibition Fund.