Fashion designer Virgil Abloh has sold a 60 percent majority stake in his Off-White luxury streetwear brand to the French luxury group LVMH. Abloh has been the artistic director of Louis Vuitton men’s wear since 2018 and will assume new roles, as well as working across LVMH’s wine and spirits and hospitality brands. LVMH owns Krug, Don Perignon, Hennessy and 30 other spirit brands as well Cipriani in Venice and 50 other hotels.
“There are areas within the spirits side of the business that are attractive to me; there are areas within the hospitality, the hotels side; jewelry — you know, more minutiae within the fashion segment. My eyes have always been wide in terms of fashion, arts and culture and how they can merge together,” Abloh told Women’s Wear Daily.
The New York Times also called Abloh the most powerful Black executive at the most powerful luxury goods group in the world. He is also expected to shake things up a bit as he is being referred to as the chief disruption officer.
“We’re not trying to emulate a model that already exists,” Michael Burke, the chief executive of Louis Vuitton, said of Abloh’s new role. “It’s more like what Bernard Arnault did when he bought Dior and decided to create a federation of luxury brands.”
Under the new deal, Abloh will also get a stake in whatever products he helps develop. Prior to Abloh’s deal, LVMH’s board and executive team were entirely white.
“I’m getting a seat at the table,” Abloh told The New York Times.
Abloh also recently designed for Spike Lee including a hot pink double-breasted suit for this month’s Cannes film festival, where Lee chaired the jury. Abloh launched Off-White in 2013 and will retain a 40 percent stake in the brand and remain as creative director.
The financial terms of the deal were not revealed.