Louis Vuitton hires Virgil Abloh as its new menswear designer

Virgil Abloh's appointment is a reflection of the increasing consumer-driven intermingling of the luxury and streetwear sectors, which helped boost global sales of luxury personal goods by 5 per cent last year.
Virgil Abloh's appointment is a reflection of the increasing consumer-driven intermingling of the luxury and streetwear sectors, which helped boost global sales of luxury personal goods by 5 per cent last year.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (NYTimes) - Virgil Abloh, founder of haute streetwear label Off-White and a longtime creative director for Kanye West, will be the next artistic director of menswear at Louis Vuitton.

He will be one of the few black designers at the top of a French heritage house. Olivier Rousteing is the creative director of Balmain, and Ozwald Boateng was the designer for Givenchy menswear from 2003 to 2007.

"I feel elated," Abloh said, adding that he planned to relocate his family to Paris to take the job at the largest brand in the stable of LVMH Moet 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."

The appointment is part of a shake-up on the menswear side of LVMH, which began in January with the departure of Kim Jones, Abloh's predecessor at Louis Vuitton.

Last week, it was announced that Jones would become the menswear designer at LVMH stablemate Christian Dior, replacing Kris van Assche.

Abloh's appointment is also a reflection of the increasing consumer-driven intermingling of the luxury and streetwear sectors, which helped boost global sales of luxury personal goods by 5 per cent last year, according to a recent study by consulting firm Bain & Co.