Ready for a real shocker? It took the fashion industry a whole four days—four!—after learning that Riccardo Tisci was leaving Givenchy to start whispering about his replacement. According to WWD, the rumor mill’s first subject is Off-White designer Virgil Abloh.
A streetwear designer? At the house Hubert built? Yes, it may at first seem surprising, but given how Tisci transformed the brand, not to mention its current celeb-fueled fan base, Abloh could make perfect sense—especially from a commercial standpoint. What’s more is the designer, who works closely with the one and only Kanye West (not unlike Tisci), has vocally expressed his desire to come in as a fashion outsider and helm a major luxury house.
Additionally, Abloh, a Chicago native with a background in architecture and engineering, is already acquainted with LVMH, having been a finalist in the 2015 LVMH Fashion Prize. If the rumor is true, Abloh's hiring would somewhat echo Balenciaga's choice to tap Vetements' Demna Gvasalia, though Gvasalia certainly had a wealth of traditional training, having worked at Maison Margiela and Louis Vuitton before launching his experimental range and subsequently landing the Balenciaga gig. Given Abloh's industry outsider status, one could see his hiring as even more anti-establishment than Gvasalia's. However, Abloh's aesthetic does have a more commercial twist.
Couture and eveningwear would be relatively new territory for Abloh, though his most recent womenswear collection did have flourishes of newfound formality, featuring a number of silk dresses, sequins, ruffles, and even a sheer harlequin-check chiffon gown. Did it conjure Hubert de Givenchy’s muse Audrey Hepburn? Nope—though, to be fair, neither did Tisci’s designs. However, we’re pretty sure diehard modern-day Givenchy fan Beyonce would be on board with Abloh’s vision, given she already dons his signature collection.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. It's still just a rumor...stay tuned.