Few issues are as hotly contested as what women should wear to the office. Bare shoulders have been banned from the halls of Congress, heels are expected in Midtown offices, and blazers are still required in most corporate settings. But here at Vogue, well, our office is not like other offices. On any given day, you might find an editor going full off-the-shoulder—hey, it was for a story—or a high-low mix of jeans, tees, sweatshirts, and designer dresses. And yet, a paperclip bracelet remains delightfully outside the norm—though probably not for long.
On the runways and in stores, designers are turning office supplies into kitschy accessories. At Off-White, Virgil Abloh has not only morphed zip-ties and binder clips into trans-seasonal musts, but earlier this year he launched a collection of luxe paperclip jewelry in collaboration with Jacob the Jeweler. After debuting the bracelets and necklaces on Instagram, he told The New Yorker’s Doreen St. Félix in a [profile],(https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/03/18/virgil-abloh-menswears-biggest-star) “I’ve branded paper clips now.” Since then, he’s literally branded them, posting a picture of Abloh-logo’ed clips.
Stella McCartney might disagree on who owns the paper clip motif. In her eco-friendly Fall 2019 collection she introduced cascading paper clip earrings, upcycled, if you will, from materials in her studio.
The big question for this trend is not “Will anyone wear these pieces to the office?” but “When will fashion catch up with ideas of more modern workplaces?” Adam Kimmel left menswear to become the creative director of WeWork, bringing a light, bright, aesthetically pleasing vibe to the shared spaces. Here at Vogue HQ, you’re more likely to find a salt lamp, a standing desk, or a balance ball around someone’s desk space than rubber bands. Will those newfangled items hit the runway soon? And when we can expect a collection of nice tops to wear when you’re working from home but have to dial in to a video conference call? As the workplace changes, so will fashion’s send-ups. Paging Jeremy Scott!