THE NEW KING OF LUXURY FASHION
LAST WEEK, Virgil Abloh was appointed the new artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear, following the departure of Kim Jones, who recently jumped ship to head up Dior Homme. Why does this matter?
It spells an almighty shift in the upper echelons of luxury fashion. Abloh, 37, is the man behind fashion’s most-hyped brand, Off-white, and becomes the first
black designer to be installed at what is regarded as one of the hautest-of-haute Paris fashion houses. The only other designer of colour at a major house is Olivier Rousteing at Balmain – which can’t be compared to the might of Louis Vuitton, worth £20.3bn in May 2017.
This is brilliant news. Not only does his appointment chime with the industry’s bid for more diversity at the highest ranks, it also reveals the value of an entirely different aesthetic – namely the unstoppable rise of the coolest streetwear, following the nomination of cult skate brand Supreme at the prestigious CFDA Awards and the rise of the souped-up trainer, logo’d T-shirt and hoodie on every catwalk.
For Abloh, the whip-smart translator and promoter of youth culture, moving to LV doesn’t just make sense, it’s smart. (And, yes, those of you still obsessed with the Supreme/louis Vuitton collab, under Kim Jones, will find the red monogrammed hoodie available on ebay for £6,999.99 – that’s over 1,000% more expensive than its original price tag).
Said Michael Burke, Louis Vuitton’s chairman and CEO, ‘[Abloh’s] innate creativity and disruptive approach have made him so relevant, not just in the world of fashion, but in popular culture today.’ Meanwhile, Abloh simply posted an image of a Louis Vuitton trunk to his 1.6 million Instagram followers by way of announcement (receiving 17,371 comments and counting).
We can’t wait to see his first LV men’s collection in June. As for the Virgil reverberations, we can guarantee logoloaded streetwear and collabs galore. It’s going to be Vablohous!