The Final Peak
Just over 12 hours ago, it was announced that Virgil Abloh was taking over as the Artistic Director of major fashion house Louis Vuitton's men's line. For a long time, Virgil has been seen as an outsider in the luxury world, with designers like Raf Simons criticizing his work in the past. Alongside that, we've been battling with the concept of streetwear and high fashion merging together, and Virgil, who helped pioneer the idea of luxury streetwear, now being the designer at one of the biggest French fashion houses, make me truly believe that they are now one and the same. Of course, this has been a long time coming, with Givenchy identifying streetwear as a part of their identity after Riccardo Tisci's 10-year tenure there, or just last year when Supreme collaborated with LV, but nothing will have the same impact as this.
From this, I do see progress happening, with designers like Virgil, who have danced along the line of streetwear and luxury for quite some time, I think we can expect an increasing amount of designers, who have taken unconventional paths, be given the keys to the biggest houses in fashion. Hopefully, designers who have more than established themselves in streetwear such as Samuel Ross of A-Cold-Wall or Mathew Williams of Alyx will get the recognition they deserve.
Lastly and most importantly, this is a step towards equality in an industry that although appears liberal, has had a lot of difficulties with racism and sexism. Virgil is only the third designer of color to be at the helm of a European luxury fashion house, with Olivier Rousting of Balmain and Ozwald Boateng, who designed Givenchy men's from 2003 to 2007. Hopefully we will continue to see designers like Virgil Abloh get the recognition they deserve regarldless of skin color, gender or path to succsess.