28 Mar Louis Vuitton Names Virgil Abloh as Menswear Artistic Director
By: Jeanelly Concepcion & Kaia Dublin
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It’s all about Louis Vuitton at Style Lush TV this month! As one of the most powerful European luxury house brands they’ve just released exciting news naming Virgil Abloh, the new Artistic Director for Men’s Wear Designer.
As the founder of the haute street wear label Off-White and Kanye West’s longtime creative director, Virgil Abloh will now make history being the first African-American artistic director hired by Louis Vuitton and holding a place as one of the few black designers at the top of a French design house, joining Olivier Rousteing, creative director at Balmain.
“I feel elated,” said Abloh to the NY Times’ Business of Fashion via phone on Sunday. “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.”
The 37 year old of Ghanaian descent, who was raised in Illinois and has a background in engineering and architecture, got his start in the industry after meeting Kanye West while working as a DJ, where he had the opportunity to design West’s merchandise. During that time, he interned at Fendi in 2006 where he met Micheal Burke, now chief executive at Louis Vuitton, eventually launching Off-White in 2013, and gaining fast popularity and accolades for his high end meets street wear style, including the Urban Luxe Brand at London’s Fashion awards in 2017.
Virgil will continue to run his label Off-White, in which he states is for “the 17-year old version of himself, whereas Vuitton is for the 37-year-old I am today”, and will continue to work with Kanye West. He will show his first collection for Louis Vuitton during Paris Men’s Fashion Week in June. “Virgil is incredibly good at creating bridges between the classic and the zeitgeist of the moment,” said Michael Burke. This is a very smooth transition into LV as we are already beginning to see the major changes in the design house as seen in the SS18 Collection shown in our latest episode of Top 10 Trends, moving towards a more street style feel.