French luxury brand Louis Vuitton announced on Monday its first ever Black artistic director for menswear. The role of chief men’s wear designer will go to Virgil Abloh according to The New York Times.
Abloh is a multifaceted creative who founded the fashion label OFF-WHITE in 2012. The 37-year-old was born in Illinois and is a frequent collaborator and close friends with Kanye West. He is a first-generation Ghanaian-American. He joins the ranks of Olivier Rousteing (Balmain) and Ozwald Boateng (Givenchy, 2003-2007) as the only Black designers to head French heritage houses.
“I feel elated,” Abloh said as he confirmed the announcement. “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 hailed for his ability to cross high fashion with streetwear. Despite having no formal fashion training has worked with Jimmy Choo, Nike, Moncler and has an upcoming Ikea project in the works. He currently has an exhibition with artist Takashi Murakami at the Gagosian Gallery in London.
The designer was named International Designer of the Year at the GQ Men of the Year Awards in 2017 and is nominated at this year’s CFDA Awards.
To tackle his new role, Abloh will be moving his family to Paris. His first collection for Louis Vuitton will be showcased in June during Paris Men’s Fashion Week.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.