Louis Vuitton Art Director and Off-White Founder Virgil Abloh Dies After Private Battle With Cancer

Posted inDesign News

Some people participate in life, and others reshape, inspire, and transform the world. Virgil Abloh did all of this and more, yet with a heavy heart, we share the news of Abloh’s passing after he struggled with a private battle with cancer. He was 41 years old and is survived by his wife Shannon Abloh, his children Lowe Abloh and Grey Abloh, his sister Edwina Abloh, and his parents Nee and Eunice Abloh. 

Not only was Abloh an inspiration to everyone who knew him, but what he created at Louis Vuitton men’s wear and as the founder of his own brand, Off-White, inspired even beyond those who did. 

“Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom,” Bernard Arnault, the chairman of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, said in a statement.

Acting as the first Black art director of men’s wear at Louis Vuitton, Abloh’s career was impressive beyond expectation. While Abloh had no formal fashion training, he did have a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received a master’s degree in Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology; he was taught to sew by his seamstress mother. 

Virgil was dedicated to creating space in the art and design community that provided room for equality while staying true to his craft, culture, and identity. 

Later in his career, Abloh designed furniture for IKEA, reusable water bottles for Evian, and Big Mac cartons for McDonald’s. His work has been shown at the Louvre, the Gagosian, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. In addition, he has created clothes for Beyoncé, Michael B. Jordan, Kim Kardashian West, Timothée Chalamet, and Serena Williams.

“Everything I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself,” his wife quoted him as saying in an Instagram post. Abloh changed the fashion world and showed the world how art and fashion could merge into one. No longer are the “hypebeast” culture and luxury fashion worlds separate; with Abloh’s approach, the creativity of self-expression is limitless. 

In loving memory of Virgil Abloh, Louis Vuitton will pay their respects to the life and legacy of the creative genius through a presentation of his Spring-Summer 2022 Collection in Miami on November 30th at 5:30 pm ET.