The fashion industry mourns one of its shining stars today after Virgil Abloh's family announced the designer's passing at 41. The news was revealed in an Instagram post on Abloh's account. According to his family, the fashion icon had been battling cardiac angiosarcoma, "a rare, aggressive form of cancer," for more than two years.
Throughout his career, Abloh has been an unstoppable force in the world of fashion, music, and culture. His tenure as the Louis Vuitton Men's Creative Director has been one of rebirth for the historic Maison, while his work as the founder of Off-White jumpstarted the conversation around streetwear and high fashion in the modern age.
In response to learning of Abloh's passing, representatives from LVMH said on social media, "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."
LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault said, “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.”
Outside of fashion Abloh was a successful photographer and artist. His work has been shown all over the world, culminating in an exhibition titled Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech which chronicled his career in every facet.
He also notably helped design the album cover art for Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, A$AP Rocky's Long. Live. A$AP, and more. When he wasn't designing or creating visual art, the Illinois native also fostered a successful DJ career. As a man of many talents, Abloh creative spirit and inspiring tenacity will be missed by all.
Read the full statement from Abloh's family below:
"We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend. 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.
For over two years, Virgil valiantly battled a rare, aggressive form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma. 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.
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.
We thank you all for your love and support, and we ask for privacy as we grieve and celebrate Virgil’s life.
September 30, 1980 – November 28, 2021