Virgil Abloh was named Menswear Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton. A finalist at the LVMH Young Designers Prize, Abloh is the founder of the Milan-based street wear label Off-White.
He replaces Kim Jones.
“I feel elated,” Abloh said according to The New York Times. “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.”
Abloh is 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.” Michael Burke, Chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton, said of Abloh’s appointment.
Abloh’s career highlights include receiving the “urban luxe” prize for his Off-White brand at the Fashion Awards, and in March, he received both a men’s and womenswear “designer of the year” nomination for the 2018 CFDA awards. The ceremony will be held in June. In 2011, he served as art director for the Kanye West/Jay-Z Watch the Throne album. Through his Off-White brand, he has had collaboration deals with top footwear brands Jimmy Choo, Nike and Kith.
Born in Illinois, Abloh earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master of architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology.