Louis Vuitton artistic director and Off-White founder Virgil Abloh has died of cancer at the age of 41. The news was confirmed on his official Instagram account, where a letter was penned in honor of the creative.
“We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend,” the statement read. It went on to say that Abloh had suffered from a rare aggressive form of cancer called cardiac angiosarcoma, and that he chose to undergo treatment for it privately for the past two years.
“Through it all, his work ethic, infinite curiosity, and optimism never wavered,” the post said. “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.”
Upon news of his death, a slew of celebrities who had worked with the trailblazer offered their condolences on social media.
Pop superstars BTS tweeted, “RIP Virgil Abloh , you will be missed. It was an honor to work with you. A true creative genius.”
“Im at a loss…He was someone to everyone,” model Bella Hadid wrote on Instagram. “The way he made a positive impact on anything he touched, and always pushed for his culture/the world is the reason why he was an angel on earth and one to so many. The most beautiful warrior soul. I can’t believe this. You will be so missed and cherished V.”
Fellow model and social media personality Hailey Bieber shared her memories with Abloh, who was also the designer for her wedding dress. “Virgil completely changed the way I looked at street style and fashion, the way he looked at things inspired me deeply. I will never be able to fully express how grateful I am to have known him and work with him, from walking on his runways to having him design my wedding dress and all the other amazing moments in between, I felt he was always rooting for me,” she said. “He was a once in a generation creative mind that is so rare and I’ll never forget his impact. We love you Virgil.”
The visual artist was primarily known for his work in menswear, collaborating with Kanye West and helping him cultivate his image in fashion and his DONDA line. In 2012, he launched the widely popular brand Off-White, which took streetwear style to innovative new heights. He was later named the men’s artistic director of Louis Vuitton in 2018.
Abloh is survived by his wife, Shannon, and his two children, Lowe and Grey.
Art Daniella Sison