Already one of the most successful figures in the modern world of design, Virgil Abloh is well known as the CEO of fashion brand Off-White and a frequent collaborator with musicians, including Kanye West. Now, he's adding to him impressive list of accomplishments, as it was announced Tuesday that famed luxury goods corporation Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) has purchased a 60 percent stake in Off-White, giving Abloh a larger role within its company.
Abloh, who has served as the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection since March 2018, will work in several roles across the conglomerate, including the Wine and Spirits department which includes Hennessy, and Hospitality which oversees more than 50 hotels.
“From groundbreaking fashion shows to the creation of a new contemporary men’s fashion language, Virgil has made a lasting imprint on the House of Louis Vuitton,” CEO of Louis Vuitton Michael Burke said is quoted in a press release. “By breaking down borders and proclaiming a profoundly inclusive philosophy, Virgil has extended the reach of Louis Vuitton’s luxury world. We are proud of the road traveled so far and very excited for the new ones opening up.”
In addition to his expansive new role, Abloh will continue to control the remaining 40 percent of Off-White, as well as serve as its creative director.
The New York Times called the acquisition a “new stage” in the evolution of the company, as Off-White becomes one of a few companies in LVMH’s control without European roots. The luxury fashion label was founded by Abloh in 2012, and has been highly regarded for its wide variety of collaborations; from Nike to Ikea, Evian and Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art.
It’s a revolutionary role for Abloh as well; one without an official title so far, as the NYTimes also points out. The official title, however, doesn’t seem to matter much to Abloh, as he says in the article that he's just happy to be “getting a seat at the table." A first generation Ghanian-American, Abloh also says he hopes to use the new role to boost diversity in the luxury brand.
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“I’m incredibly excited to work together with LVMH on other possible collaborations—an evolution of the great relationship I have had with LVMH, Bernard Arnault, Michael Burke at Louis Vuitton, and others,” Abloh is quoted in a press release. “I’m also honored to use this partnership to deepen my longstanding commitment to expand opportunities for diverse individuals and foster greater equity and inclusion in the industries we serve. This is an incredible new platform to take the disruption we’ve achieved together to a whole new level.”
While it’s too early to tell exactly what new developments will come from this acquisition, there is plenty of time to celebrate and expect new growth from both Abloh and Off-White. Other LVMH brands acquired include Tiffany’s and Dior, as well as big names in the fashion world such as Marc Jacobs and JW Anderson of Loewe. Abloh hopes that Off-White will find similar success, saying that the acquisition puts it in a position to enjoy “generational growth,” according to the NYTimes.
Regardless, fashion fans will be looking forward to the next Off-White release; whether that be on Fifth Avenue or with A$AP Rocky. Read more about the acquisition via the NYTimes.
Photography by: Neil Rasmus/BFA