Skip to main content

Virgil Abloh Is Louis Vuitton’s New Men’s Artistic Director

Creator of the Off White Label Becomes First African-American To Hold Such A High-Profile Position In Fashion

The world’s biggest luxury fashion brand, Louis Vuitton announced yesterday the appointment of Virgil Abloh as the new artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear, following the departure of Kim Jones last week. This is a major milestone for both the 164 year-old French luxury brand and the founder of the streetwear label – Off White. 

With this new appointment Abloh, who is a first-generation Ghanaian-American, becomes the first African-American designer to hold the position at an LVMH-owned house. The number of designers of colour holding similar high-profile positions at a major international luxury brand remains woefully scarce and underrepresented. The few others who have made it to the top include Olivier Rousteing, who is creative director of Balmain as well as Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, the artistic directors heading the LVMH label, Kenzo.

Conveying his elation and the significance of this his new part to the Times, the Illinois native said; "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.”

Speaking of his vision for Louis Vuitton, Abloh also said, “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.”

It’ll be interesting to see what Virgil will send down the runway at this year’s Paris Men’s Fashion Week in June, where he is expected to show his debut collection for Louis Vuitton.