NEW YORK — Paris-based fashion house Louis Vuitton has named Kanye West collaborator Virgil Abloh as its new menswear designer.
The 37-year-old is founder of the Off-White label and will become, alongside Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing, one of only two people of color in charge of a major fashion house. He replaces Kim Jones, who left in January to become men’s wear designer for Christian Dior.
In a statement, Abloh said, “I find the heritage and creative integrity of the House are key inspirations and will look to reference them both while drawing parallels to modern times.”
Louis Vuitton CEO Michael Burke praised Abloh’s “innate creativity and disruptive approach (that) have made him so relevant, not just in the world of fashion but in popular culture today.”
The company says Abloh’s first show will take place during men’s fashion week in Paris in June.
The Chicago-born Abloh kicked off his fashion career in earnest while collaborating with West, also a Chicagoan, in the early 2000s. Abloh, who was raised in Rockford and received a masters in architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology, was nominated for a 2011 Grammy Award for his design of the West/Jay-Z album “Watch the Throne.” He is a 2018 Council of Fashion Designers of America nominee for best menswear designer of the year (awards will be handed out in June).
The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is celebrating Abloh’s work in his first museum exhibit — an entire takover of the museum, in fact — slated for June 8-Sept. 22, 2019. The exhibit will feature an in-depth look at his fashion as well as other media including furniture, graphic design and architecture.
Contributing: Miriam Di Nunzio, Sun-Times staff reporter