Virgil Abloh is one of the most well-known figures in the fashion world, both to his wildly successful brand Off-White and his more recent role as Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton—and he recently completed his most significant design achievement yet. LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods corporation, just announced the acquisition of a majority investment in Off-White, positioning Virgil Abloh as one of the most powerful Black fashion designers. According to the New York Times, LVMH acknowledged that it had formally bought a 60% share in Virgil Abloh’s Off-White fashion business, which he founded in 2013.
In fewer than ten years, Virgil, 40, will keep a 40% ownership in the company and take on a larger role at LVMH, easily making him one of the most powerful and prominent Black people in the exclusive world of fashion. Virgil will work across multiple LVMH categories, including Wine and Spirits (LVMH owns 30 brands, including Krug, Dom Pérignon, and Hennessy) and Hospitality (more than 50 hotels, including the Cipriani in Venice, Italy, and Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire, England). He will also continue as Artistic Director of Menswear at Louis Vuitton.
Virgil Abloh acknowledged his enthusiasm over the historic business arrangement, saying, “I’m getting a place at the table.” I’m ecstatic to work with LVMH on further potential collaborations—an development of my wonderful connection with LVMH, Bernard Arnault, Michael Burke at Louis Vuitton, and others. I’m also thrilled to be able to leverage this connection to further my long-term commitment to expanding opportunities for people of color and fostering greater equity and inclusion in the industries we serve. This is a great new platform that will allow us to take the disruption we’ve created together to new heights.
”Similarly, Chief Executive of Louis Vuitton, Michael Burke, also acknowledged the significance of the partnership and noted that it will “shake up” the industry. Despite the pandemic financially stifling many businesses, LVMH recently noted a 60% increase in shares so far this year and up 30% from early 2020 before COVID-19 changed things forever.