November 29, 2021
Photo by: Edward Berthelot/Contributor
Virgil Abloh, the founder of Off-White, and the first Black artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection has succumbed to his battle with cancer yesterday. He was 41 years old.
A post from his official verified Instagram account reported his sudden death Sunday, Nov. 28. The cause of death was an aggressive and rare form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma.
“We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend,” stated Abloh’s Instagram post. “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.”
The Instagram post disclosed that the 41-year-old was diagnosed with cardiac angiosarcoma in 2019. The artist chose to battle aggressive cancer privately.
“Through it all, his work ethic, infinite curiosity, and optimism never wavered,” stated the social media post. “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.”
The Chicago native spent his career making ground-breaking moves in the fashion industry as the first Black man to earn the role of artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection while continuing to work on his Off-White brand.
At the start of his fashion career, Abloh interned at Fendi in the same class as rapper Kanye West in 2009. The two began to collaborate on various projects.
However, the two parted ways after Abloh landed a job with Louis Vuitton, the same position that West openly wanted. During a recent interview with rapper N.O.R.E. and host of the “Drink Champs” podcast, West expressed his jealousy of Abloh’s success of landing the high-ranking position.
West has not released a statement on Abloh’s death.
An official statement from Bernard Arnault, the chairman, and chief executive of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods company, spoke on behalf of the company, saying, “We are all shocked after this terrible news.”
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
“Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom,” Arnault expressed. “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’s family has asked for privacy during this time of bereavement.
“We thank you all for your love and support, and we ask for privacy as we grieve and celebrate Virgil’s life,” stated the dedicated Instagram post.
We send our condolences to Virgil Abloh’s loved ones at this time. Tell us your favorite Virgil Abloh’s designs down below!