If you didn't know Virgil Abloh's name by now, you most certainly will soon. The founder of the haute street wear label Off-White (and a longtime creative director for Kanye West) will be the next artistic director of menswear at Louis Vuitton.
Abloh will continue to work on his Off-White label, but his first show for Louis Vuitton will take place in June during Men's Fashion Week in Paris. According to The New York Times, Abloh will relocate his family to Paris to fulfil his new role.
'It is an honour 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,' he said.
Rumours of Abloh's appointment have been flying around for months, ever since previous creative director Kim Jones left in January. Last week, it was announced that Jones would become the menswear designer at Christian Dior, replacing Kris van Assche.
'Virgil is incredibly good at creating bridges between the classic and the zeitgeist of the moment,' said Michael Burke, chief executive of Louis Vuitton. The pair first met 12 years ago when Abloh interned at Fendi with Kanye West for six months (Burke was then the chief executive).
He continued: '[Abloh's] sensibility towards luxury and savoir-faire will be instrumental in taking Louis Vuitton menswear into the future'.
Despite having no formal fashion education, Abloh founded Off-White and is widely considered one of fashion's purveyors of cool. The brand is an irony-heavy millennial's dream, with the likes of Bella Hadid and Kim Kardashian regularly seen dressed head-to-toe.
Abloh regularly collaborates with the likes of Nike, Jimmy Choo, and his upcoming project with Ikea saw the Internet whip itself into a frenzy. At Fashion Week in Paris in February, there was almost a riot outside the Off-White show as fans struggled to get in.
What started with Jones' Supreme collaboration, it's presumably thought that Abloh will continue to make Louis Vuitton more relevant to a younger generation. He's apparently already put together an eight-page 'brand manual' defining the new ethos of his Vuitton.
'For the last eight to 10 years we've been having this conversation about what's new, and for me, that has to do with making luxury relatable across generations,' Abloh told The New York Times. 'The first thing I am going to do is define new codes. My muse has always been what people actually wear, and I am really excited to make a luxury version of that.'
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