Virgil Abloh has died at age 41.
LVMH, the luxury conglomerate that owns Louis Vuitton (where Abloh was most recently creative director of menswear) and recently became a majority investor in Off-White, posted to its social media channels on Sunday, Nov. 28 announcing the American designer's passing, following his private battle with cancer.
"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," LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault said. "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."
His family posted its own statement to Abloh's Instagram account, sharing that, "[for] over two years, Virgil valiantly battled a rare, aggressive form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma. 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."
Abloh was widely regarded as one of the most prolific designers in the industry, starting his career in fashion by collaborating with Kanye West and his first label, Pyrex Vision, before finding widespread acclaim with Off-White, launched in 2012. In 2018, Abloh was tapped to take the helm at Louis Vuitton's menswear division, where his collections garnered both critical and commercial success. In addition to creating for two major fashion brands, Abloh was a creative force who made time for many other projects, including DJing, collaborating with brands like Nike and Evian and fellow artists like Takashi Murakami.
"Through it all, his work ethic, infinite curiosity, and optimism never wavered," his family wrote. "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."
"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."
He will be deeply missed.