Fashion designer Virgil Abloh has died of cancer, aged 41.
The influential figure founded the label Off White and was artistic director of Louis Vuitton.
He passed away today, November 28, following a two-year cancer battle.
Tributes are already pouring in for the ‘genius and visionary’ designer and father of two, who has been described as ‘a man with a beautiful soul’.
Virgil ‘valiantly battled a rare, aggressive form of cancer’ in private for several years, it was announced today on his social media profiles.
The statement on Virgil’s Instagram account reads: “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.
“Virgil Abloh, September 30, 1980 – November 28, 2021”
A statement from Bernard Arnault, CEO of the LVMH group which owns Louis Vuitton, says: “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.”
Davide De Giglio and Andrea Grilli from New Guards Group (which owns Off White) said in a statement: “Virgil was a genius, a visionary but most of all he was family.
“There are no words to describe the loss that his passing leaves in our lives. His legend, his love and his spirit will remain with us forever.
“Thank you for changing our lives, Virgil. Rest in power, brother.”
Pharrell Williams posted: “My 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.
“Sending love and light to your wife, children, family and day ones.
“You’re with the Master now, shine.”
Idris Elba wrote: “Too soon Virgil. You will be missed from this world man.”
Sacha Lord has tweeted: “I am so shocked and saddened by this. It was only a few weeks ago, Virgil was playing @WHP_Mcr and he was on really good form. #RIPVirgilAbloh”
Featured image: Instagram, @virgilabloh