PARIS — Could Virgil Abloh be a contender to succeed Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy?
Givenchy confirmed to WWD exclusively last week that Tisci has exited the house after a 12-year tenure, in the latest chapter of creative upheaval in the top ranks of international fashion, launching immediate speculation about who could succeed him.
Asked about the Abloh rumors, a spokeswoman for the house said on Monday that it had no comment. Reached on Monday, Abloh also declined to comment on Givenchy specifically, though he reiterated his previously stated aim of eventually taking the reins of a leading luxury house. “My trajectory is to update and provide something new in the fashion industry by way of creating a project and using it as a case study on how to update a luxury house,” he told WWD.
Part of a rising generation of young designers that includes Demna Gvasalia at Balenciaga and Vetements and Gosha Rubchinskiy, Abloh designs men’s and women’s collections and has spoken in the past about how he would like to shake up the establishment.
“I have a litany of ideas that bring modern relevance, but also a financial vision on how these brands can be more successful in the space of luxury,” he told WWD in an interview last year. “Off-White is sort of my résumé and it’s my laboratory to experiment with these ideas to see which ones are valid.”
Launched online in late 2013, Off-White rapidly stormed the streetwear scene, with its signature black-and-white diagonal stripes worn by everyone from Kendall Jenner to Drake to Beyoncé. In recent seasons, it has reinforced its upscale runway collection with sharp tailoring and luxury items like fur coats.
Abloh has already caught the eye of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which owns Givenchy: Off-White was a finalist of the 2015 edition of the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers, alongside Gvasalia’s Vetements.
In the latest sign of streetwear’s growing influence over the luxury sector, Louis Vuitton unveiled a collaboration with New York streetwear brand Supreme during its men’s runway show in Paris last month.
Trained as an engineer and architect, Abloh rose to prominence as a DJ, cofounder of Chicago concept store RSVP Gallery and a member of West’s inner circle. The Chicago-born designer has collaborated with everyone from Takashi Murakami to Tisci himself.
In 2011, he and Tisci were nominated for a Grammy award for Best Recording Package for their artwork on “Watch the Throne,” West’s album with rapper Jay Z.