Virgil Abloh, a remarkable figure in the fashion, music, art, culture, design, and architecture scene, passed away at 41.
Known as a design prodigy, Abloh was the first African American artistic designer of French luxury fashion giant Louis Vuitton. The designer, who is also the creator of the famous streetwear brand Off-White, had been battling cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare type of cancer, for two years.
Abloh, who holds a master’s degree in architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology, was a pioneer of interdisciplinary collaborations. Building bridges between the different professions and creating “paths for greater equality in art and design,” Abloh worked in architecture and engineering before moving into the world of fashion in 2009. The designer commented in many interviews that his architectural background inspired his research on consumerism and culture, as well as his professional career. In an article that featured his life in Vogue magazine, he stated that his acquaintance with fashion and clothes was rooted in his mother, who was a tailor.
Abloh, who was the father of two, was diagnosed with cardiac angiosarcoma in 2019. His illness was kept secret from the public by his own choice. A message from the designer’s official Instagram account by his family stated: “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 is among the most inspiring figures in the fashion industry. With his versatile personality, he was known not only in the fashion world but also for his work in music, design, art, culture, and architecture. “Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom,” said Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH, Louis Vuitton’s roof brand.