Virgil Abloh, Louis Vuitton Designer & Off-White CEO, Dies At 41 After Private Cancer Battle

The fashion world is mourning the loss of a trailblazer.

Virgil Abloh, an artistic director at Louis Vuitton and Off-White’s CEO, has died at age 41.

The style powerhouse passed away on Sunday after privately battling a rare and aggressive form of cancer. According to an obituary posted on his official Instagram page, Virgil was diagnosed with cardiac angiosarcoma in 2019 and underwent “several challenging treatments” while continuing his creative pursuits.

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“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,” the post read in part, adding that Virgil was deeply committed to his belief in “the power of art to inspire future generations.”

“He often said, ‘Everything I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself,'” the caption continued.

The tribute went on to note that Virgil 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.”

Fans and famous friends flocked to the comment section to share their condolences, including fellow designer Marc Jacobs.

“I am so sorry to read this. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones. May you Rest In Peace and Power dear Virgil,” he wrote.

Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH, mourned Virgil in a statement posted on Louis Vuitton’s Instagram page, telling followers that everyone at the company is “shocked by this terrible news” and will remember their late friend and teammate for his artistry and character.

“Virgil was not only a genius designer and a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom. 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,” the statement read.

Virgil joined Louis Vuitton in 2018, becoming the first Black designer to helm the brand’s menswear line. Five years earlier, he launched Off-White, a high-end streetwear label.

A slew of A-list celebrities including Kanye West, Rihanna, Serena Williams, Drake, Gigi Hadid and more collaborated with Virgil over the years, and he famously created Hailey Bieber’s custom gown and veil for her wedding to Justin Bieber.

— Erin Biglow

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