Louis Vuitton Announces New Artistic Director for Menswear

Off-White’s Virgil Abloh has been named the new artistic director of menswear for Louis Vuitton, replacing Kim Jones.

Luxury French house Louis Vuitton has named Virgil Abloh as its newly appointed artistic director of Menswear. Abloh is replacing Kim Jones, who recently announced he was leaving the house to move across to Christian Dior.

On the day that Jones announced his departure from Louis Vuitton, he posted a picture of Off-White x Air Jordan 1s signed by Abloh, with the caption “thanks Virgil, BIG LOVE.”

Abloh, founder of Off-White and long time creative director for Kanye West, will join a very short list of designers with African heritage who are employed by a French heritage house, including Olivier Rousteing and Balmain.

“I feel elated” said Abloh. “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.”

Virgil Abloh’s appointment into the world’s largest luxury conglomerate, the LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton group, is a strong reflection of the change in consumer preferences and crossover of luxury and streetwear brands. It is an acknowledgement that the luxury goods industry is responding to contemporary culture.

Chief Executive of Louis Vuitton, Michael Burke, said “Virgil is incredibly good at creating bridges between the classic and the zeitgeist of the moment. Abloh and Burke have known eachother for 12 years, ever since Abloh was an intern at Fendi with Kanye West.”

Burke says the two “brought a whole new vibe to the studio” and were “disruptive in the best way.”

The first thing Abloh wants to do is redefine the brand, “My muse has always been what people actually wear, and I am really excited to make a luxury version of that”, as well as rethinking how Louis Vuitton will communicate with its consumers.

Abloh plans to relocate his family to France to take on the role, and intends to continue leading Off-White as a nod to “the 17-year-old version’ of himself”, while Louis Vuitton will reflect who he is as a designer today.

Abloh’s first collection for Louis Vuitton will be at Paris Men’s Fashion Week in June.

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