Virgil Abloh, the men’s artistic director of Louis Vuitton and founder of the Italian fashion firm Off-White, is dead.
LVMH, the French holding company that owns Louis Vuitton, confirmed this in a statement on Sunday.
It said Abloh, who was diagnosed with cancer back in 2019, died of the disease on Sunday.
“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,” Bernard Arnault, LVMH CEO, 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.”
Abloh made a name collaborating with the rapper Kanye West with whom he began working in 2002 at age 22.
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/CytwZLvSFuAdvertisement
— LVMH (@LVMH) November 28, 2021
After a stint as the creative director of Kanye’s design agency Donda and as the art director for Kanye and Jay-Z’s 2011 album ‘Watch the Throne’, Abloh launched his own streetwear brand in Milan called Off-White.
In 2018, he was named artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collections, becoming the first African-American to land the role.
Abloh is survived by his wife Shannon Abloh, his children Lowe and Grey, his sister Edwina Abloh, and his parents Nee and Eunice Abloh.
A statement via his official Instagram page read: “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.
“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.”
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