The fashion designer sold 60% of his company to LVMH, where’s he has been the artistic director of the menswear collection since 2018.
Another bet on influence. LVMH did not acquire Off-White’s business operations. Off-White’s operations are owned by New Guards Group, which was acquired by Farfetch in 2019 for $675 million.
Instead, LVMH acquired Off White LLC, which Abloh conducts his personal business in, like his Off White Nike collabs, galleries, DJ sets, and more. According to Vogue, Off White LLC also holds Off White’s trademark and copyright. LVMH wants skin in any and everything the Ghanian fashion executive touches.
One of those projects is Abloh’s plan to create a virtual clothing brand that lives in the Metaverse. He wants to “make virtual clothes to paint pictures that physical clothes cannot, and let buyers access a new dimension of their personal style.”
High fashion’s reliance on hip-hop. Virgil’s ascension is a sign of his success. The Hustle’s Trung Phan wrote a great thread on Virgil’s rise. But the fashion designer’s rise is also a sign of LVMH and luxury fashion being forced to adapt.
It wasn’t that long ago when Gucci went out of its way to shut down Dapper Dan’s operation in the 1980s. It was even more recent when Kanye couldn’t get through to CEO Bernard Arnault in 2013. In the past few months, LVMH bought a 50% stake in Jay Z’s champagne company, and Dior partnered with Travis Scott on its 2022 Men’s Show.
Now that hip-hop’s influence is ubiquitous, it’s harder to push away. Every hip-hop artist and company should recognize the leverage they have at this moment when these opportunities come up.
For more on Virgil and Off-White, read this thread by The Hustle’s Trung Phan.