Virgil Abloh (Louis Vuitton) and Off-White designer, dead at 41

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Co-founders of the New Guards Davide De GiglioAnd Andrea GrilliVirgil’s passing was also felt by Off-White, whose company is responsible for managing other fashion brands.

“Virgil was a genius, a visionary but most of all he was family,”Their joint statement was read on The Off-White Instagram page. “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.”

Off-White is an Italian luxury fashion label founded by Virgil in 2012. It has been a favorite among celebrities and influencers. One year later, Ye (formerly known as Kanye WestHe was his creative partner. They were longtime collaborators, and even interned together at Fendi in 2009.

“We’re all the children of Kanye’s trailblazing,”Virgil spoke W2017 “This generation wouldn’t have the freedom to cross genres had it not been for his passion to find more than what was delivered to him.”

In March 2018, Virgil made history as the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection, becoming the first African American to lead the brand’s menswear line, according to The New York Times. Moreover, he was also one of the few Black designers to lead a major French fashion house.

“I feel elated,”He spoke to the outlet at that time. “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.”

He continued, “I want to use Louis Vuitton’s history with travel to really look at different cultures around the world to help make all our humanity visible. When creativity melds together with global issues, I believe you can bring the world together. Fashion on this level can really open eyes.”