Virgil Abloh to become Louis Vuitton’s first African-American artistic director

Virgil Abloh

Louis Vuitton has appointed Virgil Abloh to the role of menswear artistic director, replacing Kim Jones who resigned last week.

Abloh, who is the founder of the haute street wear label Off-White and a longtime creative director for Kanye West, will become the French retailer’s first African-American artistic director.

Louis Vuitton is also the world’s biggest luxury brand, worth £20.30 billion in May 2017, and the only other designer of colour at a major luxury brand is Balmain creative director Olivier Roustieng.

Abloh, 37, launched Off-White four years ago, a brand known for its luxury urban style, at a time when high-end brands are adopting some streetwear looks to attract younger shoppers.

“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,” Abloh, 37, said.

Louis Vuitton chief executive Michael Burke said in a statement 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”.

His appointment is also part of a shake-up on the menswear side of LVMH, the Paris-based parent company of Louis Vuitton, which began with Jones’ announcement that he would step down after his autumn 2018 show at the Paris Fashion Week.

Jones is now set to become menswear designer at LVMH stablemate Christian Dior, replacing Kris van Assche.

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