Virgil Abloh, the founder of streetwear brand Off-White and Kanye West’s creative director, has been named the new menswear designer for French fashion label Louis Vuitton.
“I feel elated,” the 37-year-old told The New York Times , saying the opportunity was “always a goal in my wildest dreams”.
The news site says Abloh is one of the few black designers at the helm of a major French fashion house.
Others include Olivier Rousteing – the creative director at Balmain, and British designer Ozwald Boateng who led Givenchy men’s wear from 2003 to 2007.
Abloh will present his first menswear collection for Louis Vuitton in June at Paris Fashion Week.
Louis Vuitton chief executive Michael Burke praised the designer’s “sensibility towards luxury and savoir-faire” adding he would be “instrumental in taking Louis Vuitton’s menswear into the future”.
What We Know About Him
Abloh grew up in Illinois, the son of Ghanian immigrants. He’s been a key figure in the music world, serving as the art director for Jay-Z and Kanye West’s 2011 album Watch the Throne , for which he was nominated for a Grammy. Abloh ended up becoming West’s creative director. In 2013, he launched his own label, Off-White, an elevated streetwear brand that tends toward minimalistic pieces.
Abloh studied architecture and civil engineering, and learned how to fabricate garments from his mother, a seamstress. And despite his lack of formal fashion training, Abloh has managed to make his mark in the world of European luxury. In 2015, he was a finalist for the LVMH (Louis Vuitton’s parent company) Young Designers Prize, and back in 2006, he interned at Fendi along with Kanye West.