Last year luxury giant Louis Vuitton appointed Virgil Abloh (the genius behind Off White) as their Artistic Director of Menswear.
So what does this mean for the future of “High End” fashion and Streetwear fashion? We’ve seen Virgil so far bring out some high end items (bags costing in excess of $2k) and some cheaper streetwear collabs with people like Travis Scott (T-shirts retailing for around $120). With Virgil at the helm will we see an end to the thousand dollar luxury garments? Many people are hoping (including Louis Vuitton) that Vigril will bring his Streetwear flare to LV to help the brand resonate more with the youth - So far I think he’s done that.
Who is Virgil Abloh?
Virgil is a 38 year old Chicago native Fashion designer / creative. You may know him from his earlier work with a label he founded named: “Been Trill” and becoming the CEO and founder of “Off White” in 2012, which is now one of the biggest fashion labels in the world. In 2009 Virgil and fellow Chicago native and friend Kanye West interned at luxury brand Fendi, in Paris for a few months. This would be the event that changed both of their creative lives forever. Virgil became Kanye’s creative director for stage design and album cover art. The two still to this day have a close relationship. Fast forward to 2018 and Time magazine named Virgil in the top 100 most influential people in the world this year.
What does this mean for the future of menswear?
Traditionally Virgil’s work with Off white was a mix of youth street culture and high end luxury. Though most items are pretty pricey, he does make some t-shirts which retail for around $120.
With Virgil going to LV it means there are no rules anymore, a kid from Chicago is now the artistic director of menswear for Louis Vuitton. This means that he will bring his streetwear mindset and creativity and revolutionise the LV brand to make it more relevant to the current culture and eliminate the stereotype of Louis Vuitton only being for wealthy older people.
What is the difference between High Fashion And Streetwear.
Generally speaking, the term “High Fashion” is used to describe clothes that are produced out of well known luxury fashion houses (like Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Gucci etc.). These clothes are produced with the highest quality materials and usually produced in limited numbers, making them exclusive and very expensive.
Streetwear, like the name suggests is clothes that speak to the culture and act as timestamp on what the kids on the street are wearing at that time. What is popular in culture at that time. For example a lot of skate clothes, brands like Champion, Thrasher, Huff and a lot of vintage clothing could all be considered streetwear in 2018/19.
“The Ten” Past work for Nike & Collaboration.
Virgil’s collaboration with Nike in 2017 was his biggest project to date. Virgil put his “Off white” touch on 10 of Nike’s most iconic sneakers, spanning from the Air Jordan 1’s (1985) all the way through to the Hyperdunks in (2017). The sneaker world was sent into a frenzy with the news, with people lining up at stores all over the world just to enter raffles for their chance to buy the shoes. Interesting to note that the Air Jordan 1’s resell for over $1,500 USD and have now been released in 2 more colorways, all white and North Carolina Blue.
With Virgil Joining forces with LV, many people are speculating that his collaborations with other brands will come to an end. He has collaborated with iconic labels and brands in the past and has created some iconic pieces. Some of those brands include: Kith, Jimmy Choo, Sunglass Hut, Ikea, Moncler, Vans, Umbro, Levi's and, perhaps his most sought-after, the Nike 10.
Who knows what the future holds for Virgil and Louis Vuitton, but rest assured, the world is watching!