Virgil Abloh Has Died at 41 After a Private Battle With Cancer

Dominique Charriau

Virgil Abloh, the hugely influential fashion designer behind Louis Vuitton’s menswear and his own Off-White label, died on Sunday, November 28 after battling a rare form of cancer privately for years. He was 41 years old. The news was announced on both Abloh’s personal social media and the official channels of LVMH, the parent company of Louis Vuitton, where Abloh was named men’s artistic director in 2018.

“We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend,” reads a statement on Abloh’s personal Instagram. “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.”

Another statement from LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault reads, in full: “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.”

Abloh was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called cardiac angiosarcoma in 2019 but did not share the diagnosis with the public while he continued to work. “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,” the statement on his Instagram continues. “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.”

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Fans, colleagues, and the fashion world at large have already begun mourning the trailblazing designer who brought a savvy, streetwear-influenced perspective to one of the biggest fashion houses in the world, all while maintaining his own label and working on numerous other projects. Now viewed through this new lens, his creative output is all the more impressive.

When he was appointed to his position at Louis Vuitton in 2018, he told the New York Times, “This opportunity to think through what the next chapter of design and luxury will mean at a brand that represents the pinnacle of luxury was always a goal in my wildest dreams. And to show a younger generation that there is no one way anyone in this kind of position has to look is a fantastically modern spirit in which to start.” There’s little doubt that his unconventional, phenomenal rise to the upper echelons of fashion will stand, alongside his devotion to family and friends, as a towering part of his legacy.

Jonathan Evans is the style director of Esquire, covering all things fashion, grooming, accessories, and, of course, sneakers.

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Source : Esquire