Virgil Deceased At 41 After Cancer Battle Leaving The World Feeling Sombre

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Virgil Abloh, an artistic director for Louis Vuitton and the founder and CEO of fashion house Off-White, has died after a private battle with a “rare, aggressive form of cancer,” according to posts from the brands. He was 41. 

Abloh, a fashion trailblazer and frequent celebrity collaborator, died Sunday after fighting cardiac angiosarcoma, according to a post shared to his verified Instagram account. Louis Vuitton and Off-White also confirmed his death on their social media accounts. 

“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’s Instagram read. 

He was a pioneer in the fashion world, serving as the first Black man to lead Louis Vuitton menswear and just one of two people of color in charge of a major fashion house.

“Through it all, his work ethic, infinite curiosity, and optimism never wavered,” the post read. “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 frequently collaborated with Kanye West – the rapper turned out to Abloh’s first Louis Vuitton show at Paris fashion week in 2019, where the two were photographed warmly embracing afterward. 

The fashion world paid tribute to the designer Sunday on social media.

“We are all shocked after this terrible news,” said Louis Vuitton CEO Bernard Arnault in a statement on social media. “Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom.” 

Pharrell Williams tweeted that his “heart is broken.”

“Virgil you were a kind, generous, thoughtful creative genius your work as a human and your work as a spiritual being will live forever,” Williams added. “Sending love and light to your wife, children, family and day ones you’re with the Master now, shine”

Kehlani called Abloh’s death “shocking.” 

“RIP VIRGIL ABLOH,” added Jordyn Woods.

Abloh is survived by his wife, Shannon Abloh, his children, Lowe and Grey Abloh, his sister Edwina Abloh, his parents, Nee and Eunice Abloh, and “numerous dear friends and colleagues,” according the post on his Instagram account.

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