Though Off-White, the company, will still be operated by New Guards Group, the Italian manufacturing company that owns the license for the brand (and is itself owned by Farfetch), Off-White LLC, which owns the trademark, will be incorporated into the LVMH Fashion and Leather Goods Group. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though Mr. Burke said “it took about five minutes to come to an agreement.”
LVMH has a history of acquiring or buying a minority stake in the personal brands of the designers it hires to work with its heritage labels. This is a pattern it developed with John Galliano when he was the creative director of Dior (when he was fired, he also lost his rights to his name); Marc Jacobs, whose brand is still part of LVMH; and JW Anderson, the creative director of Loewe.
Still, according to Mr. Burke, Off-White is the largest such brand LVMH has ever acquired, with 56 stores globally, and a presence in 40 countries.
Mr. Abloh said he hopes the deal will ensure that Off-White will be “on historic corners all over the world for years to come.” He also said the partnership would be used to expand Off-White into categories like cosmetics and home wares, as well as to grow the leather goods side of the business.
Mr. Abloh, who has a degree in engineering and no formal fashion training (his mother, a seamstress, taught him to sew), began his relationship with LVMH in 2007 when he was creative director for Kanye West and the two interned at Fendi, the Italian brand. In 2015, he was a finalist for the LVMH prize for young designers, and in 2018, he was named men’s wear designer of Louis Vuitton.