Creator of Off White label is first designer of colour to hold such a high-profile position in fashion.
If you don’t know the man then you have probably heard of his brand Off White, Virgil Abloh is one of the most influential people in fashion at the moment and his appointment proves this.
He will be picking up where Kim Jones the former artistic director left off. Off White is one of the most talked about breakout brands. Abloh’s appointment will make him the first designer of colour to hold such a high position.
Louis Vuitton is the world’s biggest luxury brand, worth £20.30bn in May 2017. The only other designer of colour at a major brand is Olivier Roustieng, who is creative director of Balmain.
Abloh, 37, beat Louis Vuitton to their press release with a picture posted to his 1.4 million Instagram followers, of a Louis Vuitton trunk.
Michael Burke, Louis Vuitton’s chairman and CEO, praised how Abloh’s “innate creativity and disruptive approach have made him so relevant, not just in the world of fashion but in popular culture today”. Abloh said of 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.”
Born in Rockford, Illinois, Abloh studied engineering and architecture. He met Kanye West whilst working as a DJ and he designed the rappers merchandise. He then interned at Fendi in 2006, where he met Burke. Fast forward to 2013 and Off White was born, with the womenswear range launched 2 years later. Since the Off White has become a big hit, a number of its collaborations, including a Ten trainer deal with Nike prompted large queues outside stores. Off White has won many accolade including Urban Luxe Brand at London’s Fashion awards in 2017.