LVMH Buys Off-White as Virgil Abloh Takes up Bigger Roles

LVMH has announced its latest buy: purchase of a majority stake in Off-White, the luxury streetwear brand founded by Louis Vuitton’s current menswear creative director, Virgil Abloh, in 2013.

Just to be clear, the purchase does not include the operational side of the brand which will still be handled by Farfetch. What LVMH bought is a huge chunk of Off-White LLC, the Limited Liability Company through which Abloh conducts his personal business operations. It is also, presumably, the holder of the IP pertaining to the trademark and copyright of Off-White.

This new deal will see LVMH owning a majority 60% stake, while Virgil will maintain the remaining 40%. He will also remain the creative director of Off-White while his role at Louis Vuitton has now been expanded to working with the conglomerate “to launch new brands and partner with existing ones in a variety of sectors beyond the realm of fashion. Initial discussions have already begun,” according to the press release.

Despite the new LVMH acquistion of Off-White, Virgil Abloh will remain its creative director
As LVMH buys Off-White, Virgil Abloh will maintain his position as creative director at the latter and also at Louis Vuitton. Image courtesy of LVMH

This announcement is coming on the heels of others that made headlines only last week. LVMH had announced it was going to hold a minority stake in designer Phoebe Philo’s new eponymous label, and according to WWD, it has deepened its foothold in experiential luxury by opening hotels and restaurants around the world. This week also, L Catterton, the private equity firm backed by LVMH said it has agreed to purchase a majority stake in the Italian Fashion house, Etro.

So what do all these acquisitions mean for the conglomerate? Vogue seems to have the answer: “What today’s deal really means is that LVMH has bought the ticket it needs to transition from “luxury” to “progressive luxury”—and given the value shifts across all facets of wider society so far this decade, that adaptation might well turn out to be priceless. Because when your ultimate end-product is equality, access, and opportunity, you might just solve luxury’s ultimate conundrum: how to make the exclusive inclusive.”

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