Designer and entrepreneur Virgil Abloh has died at the age of 41 on Sunday (Nov. 28). The artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection—and one of the few Black designers at the top of a French fashion house—had been battling cardiac angiosarcoma, an aggressive and rare form of cancer.
According to an official statement shared on Instagram, the Off-White founder had been privately fighting his illness since 2019 and underwent ”numerous challenging treatments, all while helming several significant institutions that span fashion, art, and culture.”
“We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend,” it reads. “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.”
The statement continues by touching on the Illinois native’s unwavering optimism and work ethic despite his circumstances. “Through it all, his work ethic, infinite curiosity, and optimism never wavered,” it adds. “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.”
LVMH’s CEO, Bernard Arnault has also issued a statement. “We are all shocked by this terrible news,” he said. “Virgil was not only a genius designer and 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 on the passing of their husband, father, brother, son and friend.”
VIBE sends our deepest condolences to Abloh’s family and friends during this time.