Louis Vuitton, one of the most established fashion houses in the industry, today announced that Virgil Abloh, a designer with no formal training, will be its new artistic director of menswear. Abloh, 37, will be the French house's first African-American artistic director, and succeeds Kim Jones, who announced his departure in January. “I find the heritage and creative integrity of the house are key inspirations," Abloh said of his move in a statement, "and will look to reference them both while drawing parallels to modern times.”
Founder of Milan-based streetwear brand Off-White, Abloh has garnered a youth-led following most heritage brands could only dream of – his personal Instagram account has 1.6 million followers, while Off-White has 3.1 million. Starting out as Kanye West's creative consultant, Abloh interned at Fendi before founding his own label in 2013.
Since then he's been nominated for the LVMH prize, won Urban Luxury Brand at 2017's Fashion Awards, collaborated with everyone from Ikea to Levi's and Nike, and become just about the most sought-after brand out there. Abloh's appointment at Louis Vuitton confirms that streetwear and athleisure are going nowhere fast, and we can expect the same much-hyped pieces that we saw from his predecessor Jones, a close friend of Abloh's whose Vuitton collaboration with Supreme was the sellout drop of last year.