French conglomerate, LVMH has acquired 60% of Virgil Abloh’s luxury streetwear brand, Off-White for an undisclosed amount. The famed designer will remain as the creative director as well as menswear artistic director of Louis Vuitton. Furthermore, Abloh will explain his role within the company where he will be working across different divisions. While LVMH is widely known for being the parent company of some of the most renowned fashion brands in the world such as Louis Vuitton and Dior, the company’s profile also includes wine and spirits, perfume, cosmetics and jewellery.
With the new appointment at the company, Abloh has risen up to be one of the most influential Black executives at a luxury goods group. This sets the stage for the evolution of LVMH as it tries to diversify its offerings and drive further integration among the different brands. Collaboration across different brands is not unfamiliar for the designer as he is perhaps the most successful at it. Over the years, he has also worked with other brands like Nike, Champion, Evian and Ikea.
According to the New York Times, the shares of LVMH shot up by “60 per cent this year” and for the first quarter, its revenue grew 30 per cent as compared to the same period last year, pre-Covid. These healthy figures also briefly made Bernard Arnault the richest man in the world, beating Jeff Bezos for the top spot.
The new acquisition by the company is part of the industry’s new wave of Mergers and Acquisitions. Just last year, LVMH recorded the largest deal when it bought Tiffany & Co., then earlier last week, it acquired a minority stake in Phoebe Philo’s upcoming namesake brand. Elsewhere, Moncler acquired Stone Island and OTB, the parent company of Diesel and Maison Margiela, acquired Jil Sander. Founded in 2013, Off-White was Abloh’s brainchild after working briefly for Kanye West and Fendi as an intern.
Two years later, he was a finalist for the prestigious LVMH prize and in 2018, he took helm of Louis Vuitton’s menswear. The cult streetwear brand will continue to be operated by New Guards Group, which will oversee the production, marketing and distribution until 2026 while LVMH will be the owner of Off-White’s trademark.