Almost a decade after Kanye West dropped his footwear collection with Louis Vuitton, the Louie Vuitton Don’s longtime creative director, Virgil Abloh, has been tapped as the storied label’s artistic director of menswear.
“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 told the New York Times. “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.”
A win for the culture, the announcement is just another notch under the innovative creator’s designer belt. Leading up to his appointment as LV’s menswear designer, Abloh has been credited with building the award-winning Off-White line, while simultaneously lending his creative lens to brands like Nike, Jimmy Choo, the New York City Ballet, Moncler, Sunglass Hut, and Warby Parker for everything from must-have sneakers to furniture to album covers.
Louis Vuitton’s chief executive, Michael Burke, admits that the former architecture and civil engineering major and his “disruptive” approach to fashion have been on his radar for some time now. The two first crossed paths while Abloh, along with West, interned at Fendi over a decade ago.
“I was really impressed with how they brought a whole new vibe to the studio and were disruptive in the best way,” says Burke. “Virgil could create a metaphor and a new vocabulary to describe something as old-school as Fendi. I have been following his career ever since.”
As streetwear continues to gain more and more influence in the world of fashion, the current stars of the genre are starting to get their just due. Last year, Abloh’s new home shook up the runway with its Kim Jones-orchestrated Supreme collaboration.
“For the last eight to 10 years we’ve been having this conversation about what’s new, and for me, that has to do with making luxury relatable across generations,” says Abloh. “The first thing I am going to do is define new codes. My muse has always been what people actually wear, and I am really excited to make a luxury version of that.”