Virgil Abloh Dead At 41
Virgil Abloh has died at 41 following a private battle with cancer. The influential designer’s passing was announced in a statement on Abloh’s official Instagram.
“For over two years, Virgil valiantly battled a rare, aggressive form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma,” the statement reads. “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,” the statement continues. “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.”
Abloh was born in Rockford, IL to Ghanaian immigrant parents. He graduated from the University Of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in civil engineering and received a master’s degree in architecture from the Illinois Institute Of Technology. While working at a print shop in Chicago, Abloh met Kanye West, and they ended up interning together at Fendi at the same time. Abloh would eventually become West’s creative director.
In 2013, Abloh launched his own fashion label Off-White, designing high-end streetwear clothes. He collaborated with brands like Nike, Levi’s, and IKEA. He became the artistic director of menswear for Louis Vuitton in 2018, and earlier this year LVMH bought a 60% stake in his Off-White brand.
Abloh also designed album cover art and spearheaded visuals for Kanye West, A$AP Rocky, Lil Uzi Vert, Westside Gunn, and more. Among his album designs are My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Watch The Throne, and Yeezus. He also served as a DJ and occasionally released music, including a team-up with serpentwithfeet that was released earlier this year.
“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,” Bernard Arnault, CEO of Louis Vuitton, said in a statement. “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.”
West paid tribute to Abloh in his Sunday Service livestream: