The popular Ghanaian-American designer had been battling a rare form of cancer in private for several years.
The fashion industry has lost a talented, unique, and boundary-pushing influence this weekend.
41-year-old Ghanaian-American designer Virgil Abloh has died after a 2 year battle with a rare form of cancer, a statement from his associates LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton said on Sunday. Abloh, founder of luxury streetwear brand Off-White, and artistic director of men's wear at French fashion house Louis Vuitton leaves his wife Shannon, and 2 children - Lowe and Grey. Chairman and CEO of LVMH Bernard Arnault said in a statement, "We are all shocked after this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom." "The LVMH family joins me in this moment of great sorrow, and we are all thinking of his loved ones after the passing of their husband, their father, their brother, or their friend," he added.
After the news broke on Sunday, Abloh started trending on Twitter, with fans of the designer remembering his influence on music, art, and fashion. The 1990s saw Abloh DJ and the creative director once told The Guardianin a 2016 interview, "When the phone is off, I play my favorite songs really loud for myself, and I'm not talking to anyone. I'm not managing anything. It's just like a time when I can listen to music… I'll be DJing after I'm done designing or doing anything else." Virgil got his hands into designing album artworks after strumming up a friendship with American rapper Kanye West before becoming the creative director of West's DONDA Creative House. More recently known for his creative streetwear brand 'Off-White' the designer became popular among fashion-conscious youngsters and will forever be immortalized.
A statement posted to Abloh's Instagram explained that "Virgil chose to endure his battle privately since his diagnosis in 2019, undergoing numerous challenging treatments, all while helming several significant institutions that span fashion, art, and culture"
Friends, fans, and colleagues took to social media to share their well-wishes for Virgil as he transitions to his next destination.
RIP Virgil Abloh \n\nThe first African American to ever be an artistic director for Louis Vuitton in the brand\u2019s entire 167 years of existence.— NUFF (@NUFF) 1638124518
My heart is broken \n\nVirgil you were a kind, generous, thoughtful creative genius \n\nyour work as a human and your work as a spiritual being will live forever \n\nSending love and light to your wife, children, family and day ones\n\nyou\u2019re with the Master now, shine\n\n,\nP— Pharrell Williams (@Pharrell Williams) 1638124715
rest in peace to virgil abloh. thank you for giving us these iconic album coverspic.twitter.com/3M6DY1jrsb— \ud83d\udd96 (@\ud83d\udd96) 1638124391
Just a year after Chadwick, Virgil Abloh, another influential Black force, has been taken from us due to a private cancer battle. The resiliency these men must have had to deal with such difficult situations in complete silence, working all the way to the very end. Devastating.— Anyway, Britney (@Anyway, Britney) 1638125236
Rest in Power Virgil pic.twitter.com/FvZW8YNeY7— Omar Sy (@Omar Sy) 1638126234