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Mar 26, 2018
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LVMH's Vuitton taps Off-White's Virgil Abloh to design menswear

Published
Mar 26, 2018

LVMH’s Louis Vuitton brand, the biggest revenue driver at the French luxury goods group, said on Monday it had tapped Virgil Abloh, the founder of streetwear label Off-White, to design its menswear collections.


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Abloh takes over from Kim Jones, who had held the position the past six years. Last week, LVMH moved Jones over to menswear at Christian Dior as creative director. Abloh’s first men’s collection for Vuitton will be presented in June, the firm said.

Michael Burke, Louis Vuitton’s Chairman & CEO, commented about his new creative director in a statement: “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. His sensibility towards luxury and savoir-faire will be instrumental in taking Louis Vuitton’s menswear into the future.”

Abloh had already hinted about his new job on Instagram over the weekend, posting a picture of a vintage Louis Vuitton trunk, but with no caption. In the official LVMH announcement on Monday, the designer said: “It is an honor for me to accept the position of Men’s Artistic Director for Louis Vuitton. 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.”

Abloh’s relationship with the luxury behemoth dates back to 2015 when his Off-White brand was named a finalist for the prestigious LVMH prize for young fashion designers. Abloh is most known for how his work crosses back and forth between streetwear and luxury.

Meanwhile luxury labels and LVMH have been allowing increasing doses of streetwear into what were once strictly elaborate, more formal collections of their high-end labels. Kim Jones partly made his mark on Louis Vuitton men’s through his high profile collaborations with Supreme. The Abloh appointment will no doubt strengthen that direction, given that the trained architect and civil engineer-turned-designer is at the pinnacle of streetwear.

The overhaul at Dior and Vuitton coincides with reshuffles elsewhere at LVMH, as billionaire boss Bernard Arnault seeks to breathe new life into some labels and lift others to a new level by expanding product lines.

With additional reporting from Reuters

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