LVMH Acquires Majority Stake in Off-White, and Other News

Our daily look at the world through the lens of design.

Virgil Abloh, founder and creative director of Off-White

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LVMH acquires a majority stake in Virgil Abloh’s ubiquitous streetwear brand Off-White. 

The LVMH group continues to expand its fashion federation. The luxury group recently purchased a 60 percent stake in the streetwear brand Off-White, onboarding its founder Virgil Abloh in hopes of rumbling the status quo. In addition to his role as the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear, Abloh’s larger position within the luxury giant documents his cross-pollination between their Hospitality and Wine and Spirits categories, with an equal stake in each of his projects. The combination between the deal and LVMH’s tradition of owning a minority stake in personal brands of their designers positions Off-White to expand into arenas such as cosmetics and homeware, a process Abloh coins “generational growth,” and stations himself as one of the most powerful Black executives within a global luxury firepower. 

Denver will designate the country’s first historic district honoring the Chicano Movement.

After the Denver Landmark Preservation Commission voted unanimously to advance a proposal for the creation of the La Alma Lincoln Park Historic Cultural District earlier this month, it appears the city is poised to make it official in August. When completed, it will mark the first historic district to pay tribute to Chicano movement and will offer protections for the neighborhood’s single-family homes and community buildings, as well as the Denver Inner City Parish and the recreation center in La Alma Lincoln Park, which both have two heritage murals. “It is definitely a nod and acknowledgment to all of that history that came with this neighborhood; it really helped create a lot of the influence that you see today for the Latino community for cultural marks, for murals, for politics,” council member Jamie Torres, who represents the area, told The Denver Post in May. “There are roots right there in that neighborhood.”

“Spike” by Banksy

An artwork by Banksy has gone up for auction as an NFT without his knowledge.

Italian tenor Vittorio Grigolo plans to sell a digital version of his Banksy piece, Spike, as an NFT on the platform he co-founded, ValuArt. There’s only one problem: there’s no proof he owns it. The artwork in question is a section of wall from the barrier between Palestine and Israel, which was supposedly part of a treasure hunt Banksy launched in 2005 in Palestinian territory, promising a certificate of authenticity to anyone who could find it. It remains unclear how it ended up in Grigolo’s possession. Says Pest Control Office, the non-profit company officially in charge of selling and authenticating Banksy’s works: “Neither Banksy or Pest Control license the artist’s images to third parties. Please do not use Banksy’s images for any commercial purpose, including launching a range of merchandise or tricking people into thinking something is made or endorsed by the artist when it isn’t.”

The embattled Humboldt Forum opens in Berlin after years of delays and controversy.

After years of delays and controversy, the Humboldt Forum opened to the public in Berlin’s former Palast der Republik earlier this week. The embattled museum will soon host six exhibitions, notably “Terrible Beauty: Elephant. Human. Ivory” that examines the history of the ivory trade and another that highlights the Berlin State Museums’ collection of Benin Bronzes, which Germany has pledged to repatriate to Nigeria. Its opening arrives at a time when awareness about Europe’s fraught history of illicit acquisitions of art and artifacts has attracted mainstream attention, with much of the attention focusing on how such objects arrived in the museum’s collections. 

Maria Porro, the newly appointed president of Salone del Mobile

Salone del Mobile appoints Maria Porro as the design fair’s first-ever female president.

Salone del Mobile has named Maria Porro as its new president, making her the first woman to ever helm the Italian furniture fair. She takes the reins during a time of change and upheaval for the fair, which was canceled this past year due to the coronavirus pandemic and will stage a drastically different edition when it opens in September. “I and the entire board of directors will be working to ensure that, as a unique and indispensable design showcase, the Salone rises to meet future challenges regarding sustainability, digitalization, research, innovation, creativity, and inclusiveness, as ever maintaining the highest quality,” she said in a statement. Porro succeeds Claudio Luti, who resigned as Salone’s president in April after saying his vision for the fair had “failed.” 

Time names London’s rising Design District as one of the world’s 100 Greatest Places.

London’s Design District appears on Time’s list of 100 Great Places this year alongside destinations such as Accra, Napa Valley, and Patagonia. The publication cites the district’s rich maritime history and notable time-keeping status as laying the foundation for an emergent, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood undertaking a new program as it transforms into a chic locale with affordable housing for creatives. Forecasted to play host to the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival, the Design District will also feature climate-related art installations and Dan Acher’s “We Are Watching” installation in lieu of Glasgow’s COP26 climate summit in November. Maintaining a dialogue of inclusion and diversity, the area is scheduled to launch a permanent art space by Queercircle committed to LGBTQ+ artists in early 2022. 

Disney will relocate 2,000 workers from California to a sprawling new campus in Orlando.

It turns out that Calexit isn’t limited to tech juggernauts like Tesla and Oracle. Disney has announced plans to build a sprawling regional campus in central Florida, where at least 2,000 professional employees working in digital technology, finance, and product development will relocate from Southern California. “Florida is known for its rich culture of hospitality and active lifestyle as well as a lower cost of living with no state income tax,” Disney Parks chairman Josh D’Amaro said in an open letter to employees. The new Disney campus will be located about 20 miles to the east of Disney World, which is roughly the size of the city of San Francisco. 

Louis Vuitton’s new shop in Jingumae, Tokyo, by Sugarawadaisuke Architects

Today’s attractive distractions:

Sotheby’s will auction 80 pieces of artist-made jewelry in East Hampton.

Lil Nas X spoofs his viral Nike lawsuit in his new video for “Industry Baby.”

In Tokyo, Louis Vuitton opens an emporium defined by vivid pops of color.

Kenny Scharf unveils a towering new mural on Skid Row in Los Angeles.

All Stories