After months of speculation, Louis Vuitton announced Virgil Abloh as the fashion house’s new artistic director of menswear, following the departure of Kim Jones earlier this year.
The news makes history at the luxury fashion house, as Abloh becomes the first African American artistic director in Louis Vuitton’s 150-year history, and one of only three black designers to ever take a senior design role with a French heritage house. Abloh will be relocating his family to Paris to take on the new role. 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.”
Born and raised in Chicago, the Ghanian-American designer had no formal fashion training and made his name working alongside Kanye West, designing the rapper’s merchandise. During his time with West, he interned at Fendi before launching his label Off-White, the high-end streetwear brand.
Since heading his label, Abloh has been nominated for the LVMH prize, won the Urban Luxury Brand award at the Fashion Awards in 2017, collaborated with everyone from IKEA to Levi’s and Nike.
In a statement, Michael Burke, Chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton, said that “having followed with great interest Virgil’s ascent since he worked with me at Fendi in 2006, I am thrilled to see how his innate creativity and disruptive approach have made him so relevant, not just in the world of fashion but in popular culture today.”
Abloh will show his first collection for Louis Vuitton during Paris Men’s Fashion Week in June. Are you excited about this unusual fashion pairing? Comment below!