His first experience under LVMH was as an intern at Fendi. Twelve years later, Abloh is selling majority of his label to the luxury conglomerate.
Luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton is acquiring a majority, 60 percent stake in Off-White. Concurrently, Virgil Abloh, the streetwear brand’s founder and CEO, will maintain a 40 percent interest in the company. In an Instagram post, the designer dedicated the achievement “for the dreamers.”
Since its launch in 2012, Off-White has been revolutionizing streetwear’s impact on fashion’s high-end segment. The Italy-based house has since joined forces with Levi’s, Ikea, Nike, and Moncler for collaborated collections that have become coveted.
When Abloh showcased his first collection in Milan, he raised eyebrows by pairing camouflage pants with silk evening gowns. However, the idea to be “out of place” could have been the 40-year-old’s intention to begin with.
“I operate by my own rules, in my own logic, and I’m not fearful. And I’m focused on progression,” Abloh tells L’Uomo Vogue. “You know, everything niche becomes pop culture that is valuable. We’re making a global community regardless of the elitism or sort of territorial-ness that can happen in subculture.”
The same perception of unconventionality is apparent in Abloh’s entrance to the fashion industry. He did not have any formal educational background in garment construction as he graduated with civil engineering and architecture degrees. The designer’s idea to “reconstruct” youth culture through clothes was sparked in his time as an artist, DJ, and Kanye West’s creative director.
“The street is where you get the relevant ideas to real people,” Abloh told to Vanity Fair in a story about his equal impact to both street luxury wear.
Since 2011, the award-winning designer has held the artistic director post of Louis Vuitton menswear. Within the decade, Abloh explored themes from masculine archetypes (Fall 2021) to African American heritage (Spring/Summer 2022). With each of Abloh’s LV collections being jam-packed with ideas, it seems its mother brand actively allows him the creative freedom any artistic mind would desire.
Abloh’s agreement to place the majority of Off-White under LVMH isn’t a surprise if we consider his various undertakings in not only fashion but music, furniture, art, and culture.
After all, there seems to be no real risk in the deal. Abloh didn’t sell his name to the conglomerate like Romeo Gigli, Christian Lacroix, or John Galliano.
With Bernard Arnault’s group holding investments in cosmetic, jewelry, fragrances, and even wine and spirits brands, we can suppose Abloh is looking to broaden Off-White’s existing portfolio to take it to even greater heights.
Banner photo from @mffashion_com on Instagram.