Virgil Abloh, Louis Vuitton’s Artistic Director, Dead at 41

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Louis Vuitton’s Artistic Director Virgil Abloh passed away after secretly fighting cancer, the fashion house said in a statement released on social media Sunday. 

“For over two years, Virgil valiantly battled a rare, aggressive form of cancer called 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,” Abloh’s personal Instagram account reads.

Since he was 17, Abloh’s family says his goal was to inspire future generations. The Ghanian self-described maker received kind words from fellow artists in all media.

Pharell tweeted, quote “Your work as a human and your work as a spiritual being will live forever…you’re with the Master now, shine.”

Singer Khelani tweeted part of the message. “rest in absolute peace. shocking. thank you Virgil” 

Marc Jacobs, designer, wrote in part. “May you Rest In Peace and Power dear Virgil.”

BTS, a K-Pop sensation wrote, “It was an honor to work with you. A true creative genius.” Musician Thundercat tweeted, “Your work has changed so many lives. We love you.”

Abloh was the first Black man to be in charge of a French fashion house, Louis Vuitton in 2018. 

Last summer, Abloh was promoted within Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy to a new position that would’ve let him work across the group’s 75 brands making him the most powerful Black executive in luxury. 

Abloh got his start interning for Fendi in 2009 where he met Kanye West and went on to become DONDA’s Creative Director and Artistic Director for Ye and Jay-Z’s 2011 joint album, “Watch the Throne.”

Abloh has also contributed his talents to album covers for A$ap Rocky and Pop Smoke, Westide Gunn and Kanye West.

Abloh is the child of Ghanian immigrants. He was born in Chicago, and launched Off-White’s wildly successful brand through LVMH in 2013. 

Shannon Abloh is his widow. He is also survived by their two children, Shannon and his sister, as well as his parents. 

Virgil Abloh had just 41 years of age.

 

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