Nicky Chulo is a graphic designer who has helped create album covers for household names including Cardi B. However, he views his art as more than just work; it’s a vessel he uses to engage with contemporaries and create dialogue through creativity. For instance, his opinion about the lack of inclusion in the fashion industry and criticism about Virgil Abloh inspired him to create his own fashion brand.
As creative director at Louis Vuitton, Abloh has a high-ranking position in fashion. Last month, Abloh shared a behind-the-scenes look at a party for his brand Off-White. The footage sparked a firestorm of backlash on social media from critics who called the Off-White team too white and noted that there appeared to be no black art directors for a brand owned by a black man.
Chulo created his own apparel line called “Off-Black” in what he says is to call Abloh to task while using the proceeds to empower black creatives.
In an interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE, Chulo explained how art can be a conduit for purposeful dialogue.
I remember Virgil once tweeted “Design is the freshest scam” and I thought that was a very very cornball tweet. Design is purposeful always.
Why were you initially hesitant to release the apparel?