Virgil Abloh has died after a private battle with cancer.
On Sunday (Nov. 28), the designer for Louis Vuitton and Off-White passed away at age 41, his family announced on Instagram.
“We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend,” read the statement. “He is survived by his loving wife Shannon Abloh, his children Lowe Abloh and Grey Abloh, his sister Edwina Abloh, his parents Nee and Eunice Abloh, and numerous dear friends and colleagues.”
Abloh had battled a “rare, aggressive form of cancer” called cardiac angiosarcoma for the past two years.
“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.”
The statement continued, “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 often said, ‘Everything I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself,’ believing deeply in the power of art to inspire future generations.”
Virgil’s friends including Pharrell paid tribute to the iconic designer, calling him a “kind, generous, thoughtful creative genius.”
The fashion world also mourned the devastating loss. “I am so sorry to read this. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones. May you Rest In Peace and Power dear Virgil,” wrote Marc Jacobs, while Dior’s Kim Jones commented, “love always my friend x.”
After founding Off-White in 2013 and serving as Kanye West’s creative director, Abloh was named artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear ready wear line in 2018, becoming the first African-American artistic director of a top French heritage house. He worked with numerous brands throughout the years including Nike, Jimmy Choo, Moncler, and Ikea.
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) November 28, 2021
My heart is broken
Virgil you were a kind, generous, thoughtful creative genius
your work as a human and your work as a spiritual being will live forever
Sending love and light to your wife, children, family and day ones
you’re with the Master now, shine
— Pharrell Williams (@Pharrell) November 28, 2021
rest in absolute peace. shocking. thank you Virgil 🕊
— Kehlani (@Kehlani) November 28, 2021