Virgil Abloh, the hot-button founder of the Off-White label, has been appointed Artistic Director of menswear at Louis Vuitton. Abloh spawned a following as the long-time Creative Director for Kanye West, and has been a serial collaborator with brands like Nike, Jimmy Choo, and Ikea. This news comes on the heels of a halcyon year for Vuitton’s menswear, and reflects the brand’s efforts to make the collection relevant to a contemporary consumer base. In fact, it is expected that Abloh will bring a streetwear lean to the brand’s luxury kilter, tapping the increasing viability of street wear within the high-fashion sector. “Virgil is incredibly good at creating bridges between the classic and the zeitgeist of the moment,” said Michael Burke, chief executive at Louis Vuitton. Last year, it was estimated that a growing emphasis on street wear boosted the global sale of luxury goods by 5% (approx. 325 billion USD).
“Virgil is incredibly good at creating bridges between the classic and the zeitgeist of the moment.” – Michael Burke, Chief Executive, Louis Vuitton
Abloh’s appointment follows the announcement of Kim Jones’ departure as artistic director in January, wrapping up a seven-year stint at the head of menswear. During his tenure, Jones earned laurels for a 2017 collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Supreme, nurturing a budding street inflection within the LVMH group. Abloh is poised to pick up where Jones left off, spring boarding the label into a contemporary market with an urban palette. “My muse has always been what people actually wear, and I am really excited to make a luxury version of that,” Abloh said of his plans moving forward. He will show his first collection for Louis Vuitton during Paris Fashion Week in June.
“My muse has always been what people actually wear, and I am really excited to make a luxury version of that.” – Virgil Abloh
Boasting 1.6 million Instagram followers and friendships with some of the biggest macro-influencers in fashion, Abloh seems the perfect fit for Louis Vuitton as they endeavor to reach a more diverse consumer base.