Virgil Abloh, the man who has succeeded at placing some of the most influential names in the fashion industry in air quotes, has been confirmed as the next artistic director of menswear at Louis Vuitton.
According to a report in the New York Times, Abloh has been named the successor to Vuitton’s former artistic director Kim Jones, who it was recently announced will replace Kris Van Assche at Dior Homme, another label within the LVMH portfolio of luxury brands – the world’s largest. Abloh confirmed the news in – how else? – an Instagram post featuring one of the house’s signature trunks. Amongst the first of his congratulators was Naomi Campbell, Kim Kardashian West and Drake, who has previously used the brand’s runway to debut new music.
“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 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 prolific collaborator and a trained architect with no formal fashion design education, Abloh has described his appointment as being “the ultimate collaboration”. Recent seasons have seen the designer, who moonlights as a DJ, embark on incredibly successful partnerships with Nike, Jimmy Choo and Moncler; a collaboration with Ikea is also imminent. Projects with the artists Jenny Holzer and Takashi Murakami have also seen him diversify his creative output beyond the realm of pure product, much of which is readily identifiable through the use of sardonic text describing the product in air quotes.
“In a way, all of my output has been to make a compelling case for me to take on a role such as this,” Abloh said. “I think of it as kind of the ultimate collaboration.”
The Times reports that Abloh will continue to run his haute streetwear label, Off-White, which he founded in 2013 as well as continue his creative partnership with Kanye West, his long time artistic collaborator and the once self-proclaimed “Louis Vuitton Don“.
Abloh’s first collection for Louis Vuitton will debut during Paris Men’s Fashion Week in June.
Tile and cover image: Virgil Abloh/Instagram