Louis Vuitton’s newest artistic director, Virgil Abloh
Adding to his credentials, even more, the designer has just been appointed as Louis Vuitton’s new artistic director.
Abloh first got his start in fashion way back in 2009, when he began to intern at Fendi alongside his close friend Kanye West. This was also when Virgil first met Louis Vuitton Chief Executive Michael Burke. Burke said that while Abloh was interning, he was very impressed with him and that the young creative brought a fresh new atmosphere to the office. Virgil soon left his intern position to try his first stab at his own fashion company, leading to the creation of Pyrex Vision, which he started with aforementioned West, who became a frequent collaborator.
However, fearing that success would be detrimental to his original dream, Abloh discontinued the company after just one year, stating that it, “wasn’t made to be a clothing brand.”
But the ending of one good thing can sometimes lead to something better, and this was for sure Virgil’s case. Coming off the hype that was brewed by Pyrex Vision, Abloh then started his next clothing line, Off-White, in 2013. Virgil founded the company and resided as the chief executive officer of the Milan-based label. The high-end streetwear brand quickly took off and soon had sold out collaborations with major brands including Nike, Kith, and Jimmy Choo. His work as a designer started to earn him recognition as well, Off-White earning a finalist position for the LVMH Young Designers Prize in 2015. Abloh also won the Urban Luxe award at the 2017 British Fashion Awards.
And possibly Virgil’s most prestigious achievement took place on March 25, 2018, when he was named the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear line. This marks him as the first person of African descent to lead the brand’s menswear line, as well as one of the few black designers at the helm of a major French house, the others being Olivier Rousteing at Balmain and Ozwald Boateng at Givenchy. Virgil comes in wake of the departure of Kim Jones, Abloh’s predecessor at Louis Vuitton. Last week, it was announced that Jones would become the men’s wear designer at LVMH stablemate Christian Dior.
Abloh’s appointment is a reflection of the increasing consumer-driven intermingling of the luxury and streetwear sectors. It also is an acknowledgment on the part of the luxury industry that it must respond to contemporary culture in new ways. Virgil has shown during his career that he “is incredibly good at creating bridges between the classic and the zeitgeist of the moment,” which was said by Michael Burke, the chief executive of Louis Vuitton.
Concerning his plans for the director position, Virgil Abloh himself said “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.” Excitement brews to see what Abloh will do with a new luxury label.