Virgil Abloh was destined for greatness the moment he decided to intern at Fendi. Not only would he establish a longstanding collaborative relationship with fellow intern Kanye West, but quickly earn the attention of Louis Vuitton CEO, Michael Burke. Year’s later, the creative would be appointed to the highly-coveted position of Artistic Director for Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection. And this week, Virgil Abloh finds himself selling a majority stake in Off-White – the fashion house he established back in 2013 – to luxury conglomerate LVMH.
“I’m getting a seat at the table,” Abloh explains to The New York Times.
“The idea is to develop a trajectory I wish I had had when I was starting out. I focus on relevancy. Relevancy is my metric.”
While LVMH is effectively buying an 60% interest in the Off-White trademark, Abloh will hold onto the other 40%, in addition to remaining in the role of Creative Director. According to the official press statement, Abloh will also continue serving in the role of Louis Vuitton Artistic Director.
Financial terms, however, have yet to be disclosed. While we can only assume Abloh’s bank account is welcoming more than a few commas and zeroes courtesy of the Bernard Arnault-led operation, just about everyone has declined to comment. The only detail being offered at this stage are five open-ended words from LV’s Michael Burke: “We paid the right amount.”
“We are thrilled to expand our successful partnership with Virgil,” says Bernard Arnault, Chairman & CEO of LVMH.
“We have already had the privilege of witnessing Virgil’s exceptional creativity and vision through his work with us at Louis Vuitton. We look forward to supporting Virgil and the team both in driving the growth of Off-White – and in working together with Virgil to bring his unique sensibility to a broader range of luxury categories.”
“From groundbreaking fashion shows to the creation of a new contemporary men’s fashion language, Virgil has made a lasting imprint on the House of Louis Vuitton,” say Michael Burke, CEO of Louis Vuitton.
“By breaking down borders and proclaiming a profoundly inclusive philosophy, Virgil has extended the reach of Louis Vuitton’s luxury world. We are proud of the road traveled so far and very excited for the new ones opening up.”
Off-White joins a crowded stable of renowned LVMH associated brands in addition to Louis Vuitton and Fendi: ranging from Rimowa – of which Abloh has also collaborated with in the past – Christian Dior, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs; in addition to other familiar names such Armand de Brignac (otherwise known as Ace of Spades), Belvedere, Moet & Chandon, Hennessy, Dom Perignon, Bulgari, Hublot, TAG Heuer, Zenith, as well as Tiffany & Co.
The transaction is currently subject to regulatory approval and expected to be finalised within the next 60 days.