– By Eric Zimmermann
Following the departure of Kim Jones as menswear artistic director of Louis Vuitton, the company announced earlier this morning that street-style star designer, Virgil Abloh, will join the brand, taking over where Jones left off.
Louis Vuitton is one of the largest and most powerful luxury brands in the world, operating within parent company LVMH. Last year, the company surpassed analysts expectations after hauling in over $48 Billion in revenues for 2017, with the Louis Vuitton brand contributing the lions share of that figure.
Virgil Abloh who began his career as a stylist to music sensation Kanye West, designs under his own label, Off-White, which has become wildly popular and whose bags can be seen on the arms of celebrities and style enthusiasts all over the world. Abloh’s keen sense for creating products fueled by hype and a generation of Instagram fanatics no doubt contributed to his appointment at the storied house.
“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,” Abloh said to Business of Fashion on a phone call on Sunday night.
Virgil Abloh who is first generation Ghanaian-American, will be one of two black designers at major, global luxury brands. The other is Olivier Rousteing who is the creative director of Balmain. His appointment is a reflection of the shifts in consumer shopping behavior as street-style continues to influence designs and boost sales.
“For the last eight to 10 years we’ve been having this conversation about what’s new, and for me, that has to do with making luxury relatable across generations,” Abloh told to Business of Fashion, before continuing “The first thing I am going to do is define new codes. My muse has always been what people actually wear, and I am really excited to make a luxury version of that.”
Virgil Abloh’s first collection for Louis Vuitton will be shown in June during men’s fashion week in Paris.