Louis Vuitton tweeted today (March 26) that Virgil Abloh is the French fashion house’s new artistic director of menswear. He will stage his first show for the brand this June at Men’s Fashion Week in Paris.
Louis Vuitton is delighted to welcome Virgil Abloh as its new Men’s Artistic Director. His first show will take place in June during Men’s Fashion Week in Paris. pic.twitter.com/4aEOH7T9J8
— Louis Vuitton (@LouisVuitton) March 26, 2018
Abloh is the first African-American designer named to an artistic director position at Louis Vuitton. The New York Times notes that the Ghanaian-American artist is also one of few Black people to occupy a top position at a major French luxury fashion company. His success stands out in an industry that rarely empowers creators from the communities of color that guide streetwear trends.
“I feel elated,” Abloh told The Times about his new position. “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 first established his reputation for sartorial innovation through his partnership with Kanye West, whom he met while they both interned at Fendi. They became creative collaborators, with Abloh’s work on the "Watch the Throne" visuals earning a Best Recording Package nomination at the 54th Grammy Awards. Abloh launched Off-White as a high-end streetwear brand in 2013, which expanded his fashion world reach even further. He uses this platform for social commentary, such as when he addressed the global refugee crisis at an Off-White show in Florence last year. Abloh told The Times that he will continue to run Off-White and work with West.