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Louis Vuitton Names Virgil Abloh as Its New Men’s Wear Designer

Virgil Abloh has been named Louis Vuitton’s artistic director of Menswear. Abloh has gone from designing album covers for Kanye West to having the most popular collaboration campaign with Nike last year with Off-White  to now being the creative director at Louis Vuitton.

Virgil Abloh the founder of the street wear label Off-White and a longtime creative director for Kanye West, has been named the next artistic director of men’s wear at Louis Vuitton, which if you didn’t know is one of the oldest, most powerful and presitgous European houses in the luxury business.

He becomes Louis Vuitton’s first African-American artistic director, and one of the few black designers at the top of a French heritage house. Joining the likes of Olivier Rousteing a creative director for Balmain and Ozwald Boateng, from the UK who was the designer for Givenchy men’s wear from 2003 to 2007.

“I feel elated,” Mr. Abloh said via phone on Sunday, adding that he planned to relocate his family to Paris to take the job at the largest brand in the stable of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury group. “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.”

It had been rumoured in the recent months that this would happen, and with the hype which Virgil Abloh has around him now, it’s only right !

Mr. Abloh’s appointment is also a reflection of the increasing interest in of a cross over between the luxury and street wear sectors, which has helped boost global sales of luxury personal goods by 5 percent last year alone to an estimated 263 billion euros, according to a recent study by the global consulting firm Bain & Company.

“Virgil is incredibly good at creating bridges between the classic and the zeitgeist of the moment,” said Michael Burke, chief executive of Louis Vuitton.

Mr. Abloh, 37, a first-generation Ghanaian-American raised in Illinois, is widely considered one of the coolest icons in fashion right now. A man who effortlessly makes the connection between fashion, celebrity lifestyle, music, digital and hype), to recontextualize what’s familiar for the culture.

Virgil had no formal fashion education (his mother was a seamstress and taught him her trade; he studied architecture and civil engineering). Abloh founded Off-White in 2013, almost a decade after he first met Kanye West and became his creative partner.

Now Off-White currently has 3.1 million Instagram followers (Virgil Abloh racking 1.6 million alone), and Mr. Abloh received the Urban Luxe award at the British Fashion Awards last year.

A champion of the cross-branded collaboration, Mr. Abloh has worked with names as varied as Nike, Jimmy Choo, Moncler and, with an upcoming project, Ikea and most recently, he teamed up with Takashi Murakami.

Mr. Abloh will continue to run Off-White — “it is for the 17-year-old version of myself, whereas Vuitton is for the 37-year-old I am today,” he said — and to work with Mr. West. But he said he would cut back on his other activities, including moonlighting as a D.J. He will show his first collection for Louis Vuitton during Paris Men’s Fashion Week in June.

Are you excited for what Virgil will put out next? Let us know below !

Source : New York Times

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