Versace denies that Virgil Abloh is joining the Italian fashion house

One transfer window that never closes is high fashion. The ‘will-he, won’t he’ rumour that Off-White streetwear founder Virgil Abloh was on his way to become creative director of Versace appears to have no legs. For now, at least.

On Thursday, a report in the trade publication Glossy, via two anonymous sources, claimed Abloh was in talks to succeed Donatella Versace at the Italian fashion house.

A representative for Abloh told BoF that there is “no truth” to the speculation while Versace told the Hollywood Reporter the rumours were “unfounded”.

The speculation follows on from failed discussions between the Italian fashion house and longtime Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci. Other names rumoured to be heading to Versace included Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing and Louis Vuitton’s Kim Jones.

Market sources have said Donatella Versace is being pressured by executives and financial backers to name a successor to the house as it attempts to embark on a significant expansion ahead of a still-planned and long-awaited initial public offering.

Abloh himself has made clear in the past that his ultimate target is to run a major house: “I have a litany of ideas that bring modern relevance, but also a financial vision on how these brands can be more successful in the space of luxury,” he told WWD. “Off-White is sort of my résumé,” he added. Watch this space.

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