Virgil Abloh receives a seat at the power table as LVMH purchases a controlling interest in Off-White, giving its creator carte blanche to revolutionise more than just fashion.
The world’s most powerful luxury conglomerate, run by 72-year-old Bernard Arnault is adopting the Off-White brand. LVMH has agreed to buy a controlling share in Off-White LLC, the company that owns Virgil Abloh’s Off-WhiteTM streetwear label. Following the acquisition, Virgil Abloh, the brand’s founder, will control 40% of the firm. The designer expects to maintain his position as the brand’s creative director.
The Most Powerful Black Executive
Virgil Abloh, the fashion designer, DJ, and pop culture commentator, is on his way to becoming the most powerful Black executive in the world’s most powerful luxury goods group. Since its inception in 2012, Abloh’s label Off-WhiteTM has risen to become one of the industry’s most desirable luxury streetwear labels. According to recent reports, LVMH intends to collaborate with Abloh to develop, establish, and expand new businesses to broaden his reach and work on new and existing projects. Off-WhiteTM will also have a plethora of resources at its disposal with a partner like LVMH to assist and further develop its own brand range.
Challenging the Status Quo
Fashion, cosmetics, jewellery, perfumes, and even wines and spirits are amongst investments put forward by the French luxury giant. Virgil Abloh’s position at Louis Vuitton, where he is artistic director of menswear, will continue as per normal. Mr. Abloh’s relationship with LVMH began in March 2018 and he will continue at Louis Vuitton in his current role. Abloh said,
“For nearly a decade, we’ve been building Off-White™️ to be a brand designed to empower our generation and challenge the status quo. LVMH brings to the table the additional firepower and scale to accelerate our momentum and evolve Off-White into a truly multi-line luxury brand.”
Over the last three years, Abloh has spread messages of inclusion and gender fluidity to boost Louis Vuitton’s visibility, including racial identity issues into his fashion presentations thru poetry recitals and art installations.
In addition, LVMH and Abloh have agreed to collaborate on other ventures. This arrangement will integrate the Group’s experience in brand development to create both new, and collaborate with existing labels.
Initial talks indicate plans to diversify into other areas of industry. Bernard Arnault, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of LVMH states that,
“We are thrilled to expand our successful partnership with Virgil. [We’ve] already had the privilege of witnessing Virgil’s exceptional creativity and vision through his work with us at Louis Vuitton. We look forward to supporting Virgil and the team… In driving the growth of Off-White™️ … To bring his unique sensibility to a broader range of luxury categories.”
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