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In the News: Virgil Abloh Just Landed a New Role at LVMH

The genre-bending designer hopes to use his new role to “foster greater equity and inclusion” in fashion and creative industries.

By Eva Berlin, Digital Content Specialist, High Museum of Art

Virgil Abloh walks out after his outdoors fashion show and waves to the audience in a green short-sleeved button down and black pants.
Photo: Getty Images

Virgil Abloh, multihyphenate designer and founder of the wildly popular brand Off-White, is yet again breaking barriers. Last week, LVMH (French luxury conglomerate with holdings including Louis Vuitton, Moët, Hennessy, and more) announced that it is expanding Virgil Abloh’s role in the company and acquiring a controlling stake in Off-White LLC. Abloh will retain creative control over the Off-White brand, and he’ll also gain broader influence over new and existing brand partnerships.

In 2018, when Abloh took on his role as artistic director of menswear at Louis Vuitton, he made history as the first African American to head a luxury European fashion house. Long a “disrupter” charting new paths, Abloh is known for his unexpected collaborations and genre-bending work. In 2019, he crossed over into the art world with his exhibition Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech, which looked at his twenty-seven-year career and showcased his creative output in a wide range of industries.

Virgil Abloh, with Gigi Hadid at his right and models behind him, poses with his hands in a thankful position at the end of his fashion show.
Virgil Abloh and model Gigi Hadid address the audience after the Off-White runway show at Paris Fashion Week 2019. Photo: Reuters / Charles Platiau

As a first-generation Ghanaian American, Abloh’s successes are especially inspiring for young creatives of color hoping to break into the often-exclusive worlds of art and high fashion. In 2020, Abloh founded the Virgil Abloh™️ “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund, an initiative that provides students with both funds and crucial career-building resources including mentors and paid internships. In the announcement of his newly expanded position, Abloh indicated that he is “honored to use this partnership to deepen my longstanding commitment to expand opportunities for diverse individuals and foster greater equity and inclusion.”¹

So, what’s behind Abloh’s influential superstardom? In the video below, hear from the artist as he discusses his inspiration, creative process, and perspectives on fashion and art.

Filmed during Conversations with Contemporary Artists: Virgil Abloh at the High Museum in Atlanta on March 1, 2020. Video by Ashley Wills.

Check out the Virgil Abloh exhibition products available in the High Museum Shop, including many High Museum exclusives and deeply discounted items. To study the arc of his career more closely, pick up a copy of Abloh’s exhibition catalogue.

Although Abloh’s exhibition is no longer on view at the High, check out our current exhibitions, including Calder-Picasso.

Learn more about the “Post-Modern” Scholarship and online resources for budding brands.

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¹Luke Leitch, “Progressive Luxury: What LVMH’s Purchase of Off-White Really Means,” Vogue, July 20, 2021, https://www.vogue.com/article/lvmh-purchases-60-percent-off-white-what-does-it-mean.

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