5 Things to know about new Louis Vuitton designer Virgil Abloh

Abloh is a man of many talents.

MIAMI, FL – DECEMBER 07: Virgil Abloh performs on stage at BACARDI, Swizz Beatz and The Dean Collection bring NO COMMISSION back to Miami to celebrate “Island Might” at Soho Studios on December 7, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for BACARDI)

Virgil Abloh, has made history as the first African-American to helm a line at Louis Vuitton. Abloh is the founder of street wear label Off-White and was a longtime creative director for Kanye West. Abloh has been named the men’s artistic director for Louis Vuitton. The industry is looking for his urban edge and eagle eye for fashion to be a hit among fashion-forward millennials.

But this is not the first time Abloh has made money moves. Here are five things you should know about Louis Vuitton’s new leading man:

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  1. Fashionable DJ

Abloh is a man of many talents. Not only does he have a knack for creating in-demand fashion, but he also knows his way around a turntable. He is an international DJ who has spun records all over the globe. At last year’s Art Basel in Miami, Abloh served as Drake’s DJ for a special private show.

  1. Branding Powerhouse

Abloh’s Off-White brand has become a notable in the fashion realm. In Spring 2014 it got a spot on the official Paris Fashion Week schedule for both its men’s line and women’s collection. The label has 3.1 million Instagram followers Instagram followers and Abloh has an additional 1 million-plus on his personal account. Off-White was also named a finalist in the 2015 LVMH Prize.

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“What Virgil does really well is cross-platform messaging. He realizes he is his brand and it’s in everything he does, from his DJ name being Flat White to wearing his products in public and connecting with young influencers who also wear his product,” says Jian DeLeon, senior menswear editor at WGSN.

  1. First Generation Ghanaian-American

Abloh is a first-generation Ghanaian-American raised in Illinois. His love for the fashion industry was organically developed. His mom was a seamstress and she was the one who taught him how to sew.  He has no formal fashion education.  Abloh earned degrees in architecture and civil engineering, but eventually made his way back to his first love of fashion.

  1. Collaboration King

Abloh has worked with some of the industry’s most successful brands like Nike, Jimmy Choo, Moncler, and even Ikea. Most notably, he teamed up with Takashi Murakami (a frequent Louis Vuitton collaborator) for a London show. “In a way, all of my output has been to make a compelling case for me to take on a role such as this,” Abloh said. “I think of it as kind of the ultimate collaboration.”

  1. A Man on the Move

Virgil Abloh reportedly plans to relocate his family from Chicago to Paris to take the job at the world’s largest luxury group. “This opportunity to think through what the next chapter of design and luxury will mean at a brand that represents the pinnacle of luxury was always a goal in my wildest dreams. And to show a younger generation that there is no one way anyone in this kind of position has to look is a fantastically modern spirit in which to start.”

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