- SARAH KENT AND ROBERT WILLIAMS
LVMH to Buy Majority Stake in Off-White, Expand Virgil Abloh’s Role
The luxury conglomerate will acquire the trademark to the New Guards Group-operated streetwear label, as well as work with its creative director to launch new brands and energise existing ones across its portfolio.
LVMH has agreed to acquire a 60 percent stake in the trademark for Virgil Abloh's luxury streetwear label Off-White, deepening the relationship between the creative director and the French luxury conglomerate. Getty Images.
LVMH said Tuesday it has agreed to acquire a 60 percent stake in Off-White LLC, the owner of the Off-White trademark.
Following the transaction, the luxury streetwear brand’s founder Virgil Abloh will retain a 40 percent interest in the company and continue in his roles as creative director of the brand, as well as menswear artistic director of Louis Vuitton.
Farfetch-owned New Guards Group, the Milan-based fashion group which founded the brand with Abloh in 2014, will continue to operate the label including production, marketing, and distribution through a licensing agreement that’s set to last until at least 2026.
Under New Guards Group’s management, Off-White has become a global brand with 56 boutiques selling hoodies, keychains, blankets and umbrella stands featuring Abloh’s signature self-referential graphics and crossed-arrow logo.
LVMH and Abloh also announced they planned to expand their partnership, with plans to work together to launch new brands and energise existing ones, including through collaborations that would extend beyond the group’s fashion holdings. The conglomerate’s portfolio includes more than 70 brands ranging from wine and spirits to hotels, perfume, cosmetics and jewellery.
After training as an architect, Abloh broke into the fashion industry as the longtime creative collaborator for Kanye West. His approach blurs the lines between designer and savvy community builder, rallying fans to hype his own brand, as well as limited-edition products ranging from Nike sneakers to Ikea rugs and Evian water bottles.
The strategy has proven timely as social media’s influence in the fashion space climbed, and belonging to a consumer tribe became a key driver for young fashion shoppers.
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.