Crossing the catwalk: Luxury designers on the move

Lifestyle

FASHION

Crossing the catwalk: Luxury designers on the move

Creatives are swapping jobs all over the fashion industry, but what does it mean for the brands?

Nothemba Mkhondo

Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton MenswearVirgil Abloh’s appointment as the new menswear director for Louis Vuitton has been met with much excitement. The designer, known for his brand Off-White, had his start with sweatshirts and other streetwear items with his first brand, Pyrex Vision. So at Louis Vuitton, a house known for travel, how will Abloh reconcile the two?
The line between streetwear and luxury has blurred significantly over the past few years, so perhaps Abloh will follow his longtime friend and predecessor, Kim Jones, and keep up the spirit of streetwear at the French house.
Our guess is he will diversify the LV audience by redefining the Louis Vuitton man as someone who is more everyday, more on the edge. Abloh is a keen collaborator who has worked with the likes of Jimmy Choo and Nike, so more  collaborations with Louis Vuitton may be in the pipeline.
Kim Jones for Dior HommeKim Jones is taking over from Kris van Assche at Dior Homme. The designer, known for his travel- and streetwear-inspired collections for Louis Vuitton, can be expected to shake up a brand known for slim tailoring and a bit of rebellious boy spirit. Hopefully Jones will diversify the Dior Homme aesthetic and bring a few artistic collaborations to the brand to add a bit of quirkiness and character to it.
Hedi Slimane for CélineHedi Slimane, known for his creative roles at Yves Saint Laurent and Dior Homme, is headed to womenswear brand Céline. He will add menswear and couture ranges to a brand that garnered a cult following under Phoebe Philo. As the designer who rebranded Saint Laurent during his tenure, he is probably going to have a marked impact on the Céline aesthetic. Considering Slimane’s legacy at YSL, we predict he will add a bit of rock and glitz, increase the energy of the brand and maybe make it a little more risqué. 
Riccardo Tisci for BurberryRicardo Tisci, the previous designer for Givenchy, is headed to British heritage brand Burberry. This is a rather unexpected pairing as one would have thought the brand would bring in a British designer who is closer to Burberry’s roots. It may indicate a rather radical change on the horizon. Tisci, known for his dark, subversive and sexual aesthetic, is sure to push the boundaries of Burberry’s brand image and give it new relevance.

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