What Does Virgil Abloh Mean for Louis Vuitton?

By: Madi Carpenter

If you haven't heard, Virgil Abloh has been selected to take the place of Kim Jones as artistic director of Louis Vuitton Menswear. This is a huge step forward for Virgil and everyone in the industry has been totally losing their marbles. Abloom has the kind of support from the fashion community that most designers dream of and this represents a giant leap for the under appreciated black designer community. Design-wise, however, opinions on what Virgil Abloh means for Louis Vuitton are a little all over the place.

Photo: Getty Images

I don't really think that the LVMH appointment was done with the intention of bringing in more African American representation, but that seems to be the most relevant aspect of this whole situation. I think Virgil will do fine with designing for Louis Vuitton, but the appointment to a brand of this magnitude for an African American designer is something we don't see nearly enough of. 

In most cases, you either love Virgil's work or just aren't impressed. I fall in the middle of this scale, but leaning more towards unimpressed. I only say this because I believe that there are more talented designers such as Teifar Clemens of Telfar and Maxwell Osborne of Public School. I feel that Abloh has yet to hit his creative peak, although he does do his best work in menswear. I think Louis Vuitton is aiming to do just what Gucci did with the appointment of Alessandro Michele and that is to bridge the gap between the high-end consumer and the street wear consumer. The brand wants their own version of Gucci's popular belts and loafers, and they probably believe Abloh can give them that. 

Photo: Vanity Fair

In today's day and age, a brand's success quite literally depends on how much clout they have. As we know of, Off White is one of the most popular current street wear brands and that aspect of cool has a lot to offer to a classic brand like Louis Vuitton. It will help them climb back up the ranks and appeal to the new group of Hypebeasts always looking for a new high-end trend to promote. 

Overall, Abloh will probably do well at Louis Vuitton, but will also get his fair share of judgment from the heavy critics that have high expectations. What really matters is the representation that comes with an appointment of this magnitude, and the fashion that will come as a result of it. The world goes on turning, but in a more inclusive way.