Groundbreaking designer Virgil Abloh has died at 41 years old.
The Off-White CEO and Louis Vuitton menswear collection artistic director “valiantly battled a rare, aggressive form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma,” according to a statement posted on his Instagram page on Sunday, November 28, 2021. He was first diagnosed in 2019, but chose not to disclose the information to the public.
“We are all shocked after this terrible news,” LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault wrote in a statement posted on the fashion house’s social media accounts. “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.”
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 several years.pic.twitter.com/CytwZLvSFu — LVMH (@LVMH)
He is survived by his wife Shannon Abloh, his children Lowe Abloh and Grey Abloh, his sister Edwina Abloh and his parents Nee and Eunice Abloh.
Just this past year, Abloh got a major career boost as LVMH raised their stake in Off-White to 60%. And beyond his role as the luxury French conglomerate’s men’s fashion artistic director, he was given the reigns to non-fashion projects within categories such as wine & spirits and hospitality. Undoubtedly, he was the most powerful Black man in the industry.
Abloh was always one to find true joy and fulfillment in the work that he did. “My motivation isn’t to get towards an achievement. It is sort of just to have a dialogue with myself and think of ideas, execute ideas and do more ideas,” he told PAPER in 2017. “Like Tom Sachs says, ‘The reward for good work is more work,’ and that’s what I’m into. To say that some level of success or achievement would mean to stop doing what I’m doing doesn’t exist.”
Photo via Getty