Virgil Abloh: Off White Founder and Louis Vuitton Director Dies at 41
On Sunday, November 8th, 2021, the fashion world witnessed a devastating loss. Virgil Abloh, artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear and founder of fashion line Off-White, has passed away at 41 years of age. The announcement was made on LVMH’s digital channels this afternoon, confirming his death from cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare form of cancer.
Virgil’s official Instagram page posted the following message from his loved ones:
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.
September 30, 1980 – November 28, 2021
Virgil was born in 1980 in Rockford, Illinois. He studied civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed a master´s degree in architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Virgil was a long-time friend and collaborator for Kayne, which lead him to eventually start his own label, “Off White”. However, one of his career-defining achievements was in 2018 when he became Louis Vuitton’s first African-American artistic director, and a rare black designer in the fashion establishment. He was the representation in the fashion industry that very few had seen previously.
While battling his cancer privately, Virgil never stopped showering his influence and creativity in arts and fashion. He attended the Met Gala, the retrospective exhibition ‘Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech”, and was present for a runway show of his SS22 collection in Miami for Art Basel.
May his soul rest in peace.