Virgil Abloh has ficially been selected as the newest artistic director men’s wear at Louis Vuitton, joining the ranks Olivier Rousteing (Balmain) and Ozwald Boateng (formerly Givenchy) as one the few black designers to make their way to a top position at a French heritage house.
Abloh, founder 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 design and luxury will mean at a brand that represents the pinnacle 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 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 luxury and street wear sectors—a trend that contributed to a 5 percent global boost in sales luxury personal goods.
“Virgil is incredibly good at creating bridges between the classic and the zeitgeist the moment,” said Michael Burke, chief executive 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.”