In a sad and shocking blow to the fashion industry, it has been announced that menswear artistic director of Louis Vuitton and Off White founder and CEO, Virgil Abloh passed away at the age of 41 following a private battle with cancer.
Abloh was known for merging the worlds of streetwear and luxury fashion in a trailblazing way that changed the way luxury designers approached urban fashion. Not only did Virgil Abloh establish and helm his highly successful high fashion label, Off White, he also made history as the first black fashion designer to lead Louis Vuitton’s menswear line.
Virgil Abloh’s vision blurred the lines between contemporary culture and luxury fashion and his approach explored themes of street culture, graphic design, art history, music and so much more.
Earlier this month, Virgil Abloh inaugurated an eponymous exhibit in Qatar at Doha's Fire Station. He also handed Jordanian designer Amina Muaddi her Fashion Trust Arabia award. May he rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/kgB5CBuRYA— About Her (@AboutHerOFCL) November 28, 2021
On Sunday 28th November 2021, LVMH group took to their Instagram account to release a statement to announce the death of the designer. The statement read, “LVMH, Louis Vuitton and Off White are devastated to announce the passing of Virgil Abloh, On Sunday November 28th, of cancer, which he had been battling privately for severa years.”
It continued with a statement from Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH, who said, “We are all shocked by this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer and 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 on the passing of their husband, father, brother, son and friend.”
Abloh had privately been struggling with a rare and aggressive form of cancer called cardiac angiosarcoma since 2019.
A statement on Virgil Abloh’s personal Instagram account also read, “He 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. Through it all, his work ethic, infinite curiosity, and optimism never wavered. Virgil was driven by his dedication to his craft and to his mission to open doors for others and create pathways for greater equality in art and design.”
He is survived by his loving wife Shannon Abloh, his children Lowe Abloh and Grey Abloh.