The first-generation Ghanaian-American has been the longtime creative director for Kanye West and is also the founder of the Milan-based fashion label “Off-White.”
Abloh’s affiliation with West was not his only foray into the music industry. The Illinois native has previously been a DJ and music producer.
In addition to his varied background, his appointment at Vuitton makes him one of only a few black designers to help helm a major French fashion house. Abloh, 37, joins the ranks of Olivier Rousteing, creative director at Balmain, and Ozwald Boateng, Givenchy’s menswear designer from 2003-2007.
Vuitton’s previous artistic director of menswear was Kim Jones, who left the brand in January. Jones has since become the menswear designer at Christian Dior.
Of his new role, Abloh told Business of Fashion that he was “elated.”
He added: “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. 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.”
The news sent waves through Twitter, with many of Abloh’s friends and fans sharing their excitement:
Abloh is a nominee for the Council of Fashion Designers of America award in the Menswear Designer of the Year category for “Off-White,” which he will continue to run despite his new appointment. He will also continue working with West.
Abloh’s first collection for Louis Vuitton will be shown during Paris Men’s Fashion Week in June.
Of what he hopes to achieve for the brand, Abloh told Business of Fashion that he wants to “define new codes.”
“My muse has always been what people actually wear, and I am really excited to make a luxury version of that.”