Virgil Abloh has come a long way since he emerged on the fashion scene as Kanye West‘s creative director. The 37-year-old founder of urban wear designer label Off-White was named Louis Vuitton’s new menswear designer. Abloh replaces Kim Jones who left LV in January.
Abloh’s Off-White clothing line is highly favored by celebrities and fashionistas everywhere. Tickets to his runway fashion shows are often hard to come by.
Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing and Abloh are only two people of color in charge of major fashion houses in the world.
Louis Vuitton CEO Michael Burke raved that Abloh’s “innate creativity and disruptive approach have made him so relevant, not just in the world of fashion but in popular culture today.”
“I feel elated,” Mr. Abloh told the NY Times via phone on Sunday, adding that he planned to relocate his family to Paris, the home base of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury group.
“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,” Abloh said. “I want to use Louis Vuitton’s history with travel to really look at different cultures around the world to help make all our humanity visible. When creativity melds together with global issues, I believe you can bring the world together. Fashion on this level can really open eyes.”
Abloh is a 1st generation Ghanaian-American who was raised in Illinois.
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images