Brittney Q. Hill
Virgil Abloh, Barrier-Breaking Designer, Passes at 41
It is with our deepest regret to report that world-famous fashion designer, Virgil Abloh, has died of cancer, on Sunday at age 41, according to a statement via his Instagram.
Abloh was privately fighting “a rare, aggressive form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma” for over two years, as the statement publicly revealed for the first time. Ever since his diagnosis in 2019, the designer chose to deal with the disease in private, while remaining a staple in the fashion industry.
Virgil Abloh’s legacy
On Abloh’s legacy, the statement says: “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. 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.”
Abloh famously broke racial barriers in the fashion industry, having founded one of the world’s most prestigious streetwear brands in Off-White. He later became rapper and designer Kanye West‘s creative director before making history by becoming Louis Vuitton’s first Black artistic director, his latest role.
Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy CEO Bernard Arnault released a statement mourning Abloh’s passing: “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. The LVHM 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.”
Virgil Abloh’s impact on the music industry
Abloh was also known for his frequent collaborations with musicians, often designing album covers. Some of the most popular covers designed by the artist include West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Yeezus, West and Jay-Z’s Watch The Throne, Lil Uzi Vert’s Luv Is Rage 2 and A$AP Rocky’s Long.Live.A$AP.
Cover of Kanye West and Jay-Z’s collaboration album Watch The Throne, designed by Virgil Abloh.
Abloh is survived by his wife Shannon, his children Lowe and Grey, his sister Edwina and his parents Nee and Eunice.
Writer: Rodrigo Barbosa