Seismic Shifts at LVMH

The beautiful thing about fashion is that, similar to most art forms, its ability to grow and change is never ending; uniquely, however, its evolution is probably the one that most widely affects the world. As Meryl Streep so aptly mentioned in her epic monologue in The Devil Wears Prada, it’s comical to believe that you make a wardrobe decision that will ever exempt you from the world of fashion because all produced goods were dictated by the minds that design and control the upper echelons of the fashion world. And the giants, the ones who have seemingly been around forever, owe much of their staying power to the brains behind their operations.

Take Louis Vuitton for instance, for the seven years since 2011, Kim Jones has helmed their menswear division putting out product that married the longstanding tradition of quality that is Louis Vuitton while incorporating technical fabrics or street wear silhouettes in high-street fabrications, continuously changing the conversation and keeping the brand relevant across consumer borders. Of late, his most widely lauded project was his collaboration with Supreme, which was an insta-sellout, globally. And while he made a lot of noise at LV, Jones has shifted gears, announcing this week that he will be joining the ranks of another, LVMH-owned brand, Dior Homme, coming in in the role of artistic direction of ready-to- wear and accessory collections. Similarly announced was Jones’ replacement, Virgil Abloh. While Abloh comes from a different background than Jones who spent many years stinting at high fashion brands, the role seems a perfect fit for someone like him whose proven to have a finger steadily placed on the pulse of what’s happening in the here and now. Abloh interned at Fendi with Kanye West in 2006, before they started pricey street label, Pyrex Vision. Then, in 2012, he started his own brand, Off-White, which filled the gap where people desired small-collection, high-price streetwear—hard to get and super fly. And fashion critics have been following his every move since.

In half of a decade he has collaborated with Nike, and sold out almost instantly; has this season’s hottest boot out in collab with Jimmy Choo and promises to keep within the until-now- highly-functioning partnership culture that has been cultivated by trailblazers before him at LV including the aforementioned Jones and Marc Jacobs who collaborated with artists like Richard Prince and Stephen Sprouse or current head of womenswear Nicolas Ghesquière who created a collection of bags with Jeff Koons. Celebrities, industry heads and the like have been very vocal about their support of Abloh in this new role—he’s really had the red carpet rolled out to welcome him into what is not only a new role for him but a first for the brand as well as Abloh, who is of Ghanaian descent, is the first African-American to ever take on such a senior creative role at Louis Vuitton; a very exciting time for the brand, the man and the consumer who will undoubtedly be delighted by the offerings he will roll out.
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