On Monday (March 26) morning, Louis Vuitton officially named Virgil Abloh as their new men’s artistic director. Abloh is also making history by becoming the brands first African-American menswear designer.
Abloh follows the exit of Kim Jones, who announced his exit from the fashion house back in January.
Jones was also just named the new menswear designer at Dior last week. Jones will be replacing Kris Van Assche.
Abloh will relocate to Paris for the position but will continue as creative director of Off-White.
Abloh did, however, report to the New York Times that he will be cutting back on his DJ gigs.
In a statement, Michael Burke, CEO and chairman of Louis Vuitton says:
“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.”
Burke also says:
“His sensibility towards luxury and savoir-faire will be instrumental in taking Louis Vuitton menswear into the future.”
Abloh also adds:
“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.”
With Abloh’s new role, Louis Vuitton will most likely go deeper into streetwear.
Burke tells the Times that Louis Vuitton’s menswear business grew in the double digits in 2017 and is likely due to the brand’s shift towards a streetwear-friendly aesthetic.
Louis Vuitton also collaborated with Supreme last year, which was proven successful.
With that, the move to appoint Abloh as the new men’s artistic director seems to make the most sense.
Within just a few years as the founder and creative director of Off-White, Abloh has been able to create must-have accessories, for example, the coveted diagonal striped Off-White logo.
And in addition to his ability to create must-haves, Abloh has essentially built a cult following for Off-White and has collaborated with everyone from Nike to Warby Parker to Ikea.
So will he bring this habit to Louis Vuitton?
Abloh will present his first collection in Paris at Men’s Fashion Week this June.