Virgil Abloh has passed away after a years-long fight with cancer. He was 41. A statement posted to Abloh’s Instagram on Sunday revealed that the designer had been privately battling a “rare, aggressive” form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma, for the past two years.
“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,” the statement reads. “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.”
The visionary designer, stylist, and DJ served as artistic director of Louis Vuitton‘s menswear collection since 2018. He was also the founder of the luxury streetwear label Off-White, which he launched in 2012. His relentless creativity, collaborative drive, and singular vision has made a deep impact on the fashion industry, the arts, and on the culture at large. He was fearless and prolific in his work, equally fluent in high and street fashion, and his omnivorous approach helped connect him to fans around the world. In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar earlier this year, he said, “I own my space, and I try to use fashion to build bridges.”
“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 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,” reads a statement from LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault.
A statement posted to Off-White’s Instagram states, “Virgil was a genius, a visionary but most of all he was family. There are no words to describe the loss that his passing leaves in our lives. His legend, his love and his spirit will remain with us forever. Thank you for changing our lives, Virgil. Rest in power, brother”.
Abloh is survived by his wife Shannon and two children, Lowe Abloh and Grey Abloh.
This article originally appeared in Harper’s BAZAAR US
- Virgil Abloh