Virgil Abloh has officially been selected as the newest artistic director of men’s wear at Louis Vuitton, joining the ranks of Olivier Rousteing (Balmain) and Ozwald Boateng (formerly Givenchy) as one of the few black designers to make their way to a top position at a French heritage house.
Abloh, founder of streetwear brand Off-White, has long established his creed as a respected and highly sought-after name in the realm rising through the ranks as a polished and imaginative eye, manning
creative direction for Kanye West for some time now.
“I feel elated,” Abloh told the New York Times.
“This opportunity to think through what the next chapter of design and luxury will mean at a brand that represents the pinnacle of luxury was always a goal in
my wildest dreams. And to show a younger generation that there is no one way anyone in this kind of position has to look is a fantastically modern spirit in which to start.”
Virgil will be replacing Kim Jones, who departed from LVMH to become the men’s wear designer at Christian Dior. According to the Times, Virgil’s selection also points to the continued bridging of luxury and street wear sectors—a trend that contributed to a 5 percent global boost in sales of luxury personal goods.
“Virgil is incredibly good at creating bridges between the classic and the zeitgeist of the moment,” said Michael Burke, chief executive of Louis Vuitton.
Burke and Abloh’s first encounter found root 12 years ago when Virgil and Kanye West interned at Fendi, where Burke was
chief executive at the time.
“I was really impressed with how they
brought a whole new vibe to the studio and were disruptive in the best way. Virgil could create a metaphor and a new vocabulary to describe something as old-school as Fendi. I have been following his career ever since.”