In the world of fashion, black is the new black

Virgil Abloh is Louis Vuitton's first black creative director.
Virgil Abloh is Louis Vuitton's first black creative director.
Image: Francois Durand/Getty Images

Nothemba Mkhondo profiles major fashion designers who have climbed to the top and are diversifying luxury couture.

Louis Vuitton

Virgil Abloh recently made history by becoming Louis Vuitton's first black creative director.

The Ghanaian-American designer, who has made a name for himself in recent years with his popular luxury streetwear brand Off-White, was nominated for menswear designer of the year for 2018 by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Three things you didn't know about Abloh:

  • He had no formal fashion training – he learnt the craft from his seamstress mother.
  • He has a degree in civil engineering and a master’s in architecture.
  • He counts Kanye West as a close friend and frequent collaborator.

Balmain

Designer Olivier Rousteing is the creative behind Balmain. Having joined the French house in 2009, Rousteing was appointed creative director in 2011 and has since transformed the brand with his "Balmain Army". The likes of Kim Kardashian, Rihanna and Naomi Campbell are among his willing recruits.

Three things you didn't know about Rousteing:

  • He became creative director of Balmain at the age of 25, making him the youngest creative director in Paris since Yves Saint Laurent.
  • He started his career as a designer at Roberto Cavalli and went on to become the brand’s creative director.
  • He grew up in Bordeaux, France.

Givenchy Homme

In 2003, menswear designer Ozwald Boateng was named creative director of Givenchy Homme.

The British-Ghanaian designer, who trained in Savile Row in London, has established himself as a fashion force.

Three things you didn't know about Boateng:

  • He has an Order of the British Empire, recognising him for his work in fashion.
  • He designed costumes for the Oceans 13 movie.
  • When he was 14 years old, he got a summer job sewing linings into suits.
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