Virgil Abloh named as new head menswear designer at luxury French label

The founder of luxury streetwear brand, Off-White, set to move to Louis Vuitton to take over from Kim Jones as menswear design head.

The Off-White founder succeeds Kim Jones in the role and will show his first collection in June during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital, the luxury brand said on Monday.

"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,” said Michael Burke, chairman and chief executive officer of Louis Vuitton. He continued,  ''His sensibility towards luxury and savoir-faire will be instrumental in taking Louis Vuitton’s menswear into the future."

The executive was referred to the period when Abloh was an intern at Fendi alongside Kanye West, in their bid to learn more about the luxury industry. Burke was CEO of Fendi at the time, and Abloh worked as Kanye West’s longtime creative director.

“It is an honour for me to accept the position of men’s artistic director for Louis Vuitton. I find the heritage and creative integrity of the house are key inspirations and will look to reference them both while drawing parallels to modern times,” Abloh said in a statement.

A New Era

With his gang of famous friends and 1.6 million followers on Instagram, the designer is sure to bring additional buzz and attention to Vuitton, which has enjoyed steady growth in recent years as Nicolas Ghesquière, artistic director of women’s collections, brought a more youthful, modern element to the womenswear side of the label. The two are set to become a dynamic duo, catapulting LV to a new level of relevance and style.

Abloh has done for Off-White in a few years what labels struggle to do in a decade. He has created one of the coolest and most sought after brands and through a series of innovative and diverse collaborations, has entered into all facets of design. As well as creating great products, he has also pushed the agenda of sustainability in fashion.

The Off-White vision

In an interview at ComplexCon last year, Abloh spoke about the philosophy behind his brand, Off-White.

“I can never forget my design premise. It’s in-between two things. So if I like high fashion and I like streetwear, Off-White is a reminder to be in the middle. I don’t have to choose between high fashion or streetwear. My brand reminds me that it doesn’t have to fit in a box. It can just be in a gray area,”  he said.

It will be interesting to see how Virgil shakes things up at Luis Vuitton. Perhaps he will do for LV what and transform the label into a must-have for the pop culture generation.

We will have to wait and see!

Congratulations Virgil!

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