Virgil Abloh named as Louis Vuitton's new menswear designer

The founder of Off-White is the French house’s first African-American artistic director

Kanye West’s creative director Virgil Abloh and now menswear designer at Louis Vuitton
Kanye West’s creative director Virgil Abloh and now menswear designer at Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton has named Virgil Abloh as its new artistic director of menswear.

The founder of haute streetwear label Off-White and long-time creative director for Kanye West has risen steadily in the ranks and remained a frontrunner in the speculation over who would succeed Kim Jones since the announcement of his departure in January.

The 37-year-old will become Louis Vuitton’s first African-American artistic director, and one of the few black designers at the top of a French heritage house.

“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,” said Michael Burke, Louis Vuitton’s Chairman & CEO.

“His sensibility towards luxury and savoir-faire will be instrumental in taking Louis Vuitton’s menswear into the future.”

A keen collaborator, Off-White and Abloh have partnered with the likes of Jimmy Choo, Nike, Moncler and soon Ikea, indicating that the designer could carry through his ability to fuse the worlds of luxury fashion and streetwear to the French heritage house.

“It is an honor for me to accept the position of men’s artistic director for Louis Vuitton,” Abloh said.

“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.”

A first-generation Ghanaian-American raised in Illinois, Abloh is largely considered one of fashion’s purveyors of cool following the success of Off-White, which he founded in 2013.

The streetwear brand currently has 3.1 million Instagram followers and Abloh received the Urban Luxe award at the British Fashion Awards last year.

Abloh's first show for Louis Vuitton will take place in June during Men's Fashion Week in Paris.

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