Star Black designer Virgil Abloh takes on a more important role at LVMH By Reuters

© Reuters. File picture: During Paris Fashion Week in Paris, France on February 27, 2020, models displayed designer Virgil Abloh’s work as part of his brand Off-White 2020/21 autumn and winter women’s ready-to-wear collection show. REUTERS/Piroschka van der Vaughan

Author: Mimosa Spencer

Paris (Reuters)-Virgil Abloh, the most watched black designer in the fashion world, plays a more important role in the French luxury goods group LVMH, which holds a majority stake in his Off-White streetwear brand.

The 40-year-old Abloh is an American national and concurrently a DJ and visual artist. He was employed by LVMH in March 2018 to design men’s clothing collections for the luxury giant’s largest source of income, Louis Vuitton.

The company said on Tuesday that he will continue to hold this position, while also cooperating with the group to launch new brands and cooperating with existing brands in various fields other than fashion.

His coming to LVMH marked the marriage of streetwear and high-end fashion, combining sneakers and camouflage pants with tailor-made suits and evening dresses. His influence includes graffiti art, hip-hop and skateboarding culture.

This style was accepted by the world’s largest luxury goods group-led by the richest man in France, 72-year-old Bernard Arnault-because it tried to breathe new life into some brands and attract young customers .

After the Fenty branded fashion joint venture with Rihanna was shelved in February, the sale of LVMH and the increased visibility of Abloh also showed the group’s interest in launching new brands.

In the past three years, Abloh has used the message of inclusivity and gender mobility to expand the visibility of the Louis Vuitton brand, incorporating racial identity themes into his fashion shows, including poetry performances and art installations.

Last summer, many brands cancelled fashion shows. In order to attract Asian consumers affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the designer sent his collection of colorful suits and practical style coats to Shanghai.

Recently, he designed the costumes of American film director Spike Lee for this month’s Cannes Film Festival, including a pink double-breasted suit, with Lee serving as the chairman of the jury.

LVMH also acquired a 60% stake in Abloh’s Off-White brand, which will be integrated into this group from spirits to jewelry.

Abloh will retain 40% of the shares and will continue to serve as the creative director of Off-White he founded in 2013. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Abloh, who grew up near Chicago by his Ghanaian parents, said that LVMH will help him develop Off-White into a “true multi-line luxury brand”, and he hopes that his expanded role in the French company will also help promote diversification. industry.

The prolific designer used his training in engineering and architecture to design a variety of products, and collaborated with Rimowa, a subsidiary of LVMH, to develop transparent suitcases and champagne bottles for the group’s brand Moet & Chandon.

He also introduced popular partnerships with brands, such as Nike (New York Stock Exchange:) and IKEA.

In 2009, Abloh and Kanye West interned at Fendi, a subsidiary of LVMH, and gained experience for the first time in this luxury group.

The Off-White brand is known for its luxurious urban style, and its hoodies start at around £400 (US$543.64).

Earlier this month, LVMH acquired a minority stake in a new clothing and accessories brand, which was launched under its own name by former Celine designer Phoebe Philo.

(1 USD = 0.7358 GBP)

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About the Author: Agnes Zang