Braun, the one-of-a-kind brand celebrating its 100 years in 2021, has entered a unique collaboration with the Chief Creative Officer and Founder of Off-White and Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton Menswear, Virgil Abloh. Today, the design leaders unveil their “functional art” piece with a film online. A remix track by Virgil Abloh is also available on Abloh’s Soundcloud to bring the Braun ethos of good design to life: “it’s timeless and meant to be appreciated and enjoyed over time.”
The collaboration with Virgil Abloh sees the designer delve into the Braun archives to update and co-curate the 1965 ‘Wandanlage’ hi fi audio wall unit with Braun’s design team into a “functional art” piece. The metallic finish of the 2021 version is a visual manifestation of the parallels between Braun’s polished chrome design aesthetic – such as the 1960 SM3 shaver and 1961 T1 toaster – and the high shine of Virgil Abloh’s cultural and musical references of the past 100 years.
These range from the brass and silver instruments of Mamie Smith’s 1930s blues band to the customized polished ‘slabs’ on cars made famous by hip hop stars in the 1980s. By taking a ‘less but better’ approach to the design process, Virgil Abloh and Braun ensure that the original hi fi audio remains the hero of the collaboration – and the technology still functions today as it did back in 1965. The result is a custom build “functional art” piece where design bridges the gap between form and function, with materials that ensure it lasts for the next 100 years.