The longtime fashion executive had been diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in 2022.
Andy Cohen is mourning the loss of a friend. The Bravo star shared a heartfelt tribute on Instagram for his late pal, George Kolasa, a luxury fashion executive who died on Wednesday after suffering from an aggressive form of brain cancer. He was 57.
"George Kolasa passed away today after an inspiring battle with glioblastoma," Cohen wrote on Instagram. "Inspiring may seem like an odd word choice, but George was so at peace with himself and what was to be - dare I say he found whatever joy he could out of something decidedly UNjoyful. But that was who George was. The love he shared with his husband Justin lifted up all who knew them. He wanted his legacy to be his contribution to helping fight rare cancers, so I’m putting the link to his fund raising drive in my bio. Life is so precious. I feel like George was randomly picked out of line and showed us all what it’s like to live within courage and light. He set a beautiful example. George was a Deadhead so I like to think he might be tickled that he died the same day as Jerry Garcia. I’m hoping Jerry is up there singing him a special welcome song. All my love to Justin, and to George’s whole family. I’ll see you on the flip side, brother. ❤️"
News of Kolasa's death was first shared in a post on his official Instagram account the same day. The post asks people to consider donating to a Cycle for Survival fundraiser in his name.
"It is with a broken heart that we share the news of George’s passing. He left as he lived - in peace, love, light, gratitude and with Justin by his side," the statement reads, referencing Kolasa's husband, Justin Tarquinio. "GEORGE WILLIAM KOLASA - YOU HAVE LIFTED US ALL HIGHER. ❤️ George wanted nothing more than to continue his mission to beat rare cancers. In lieu of flowers, please see the link in bio to donate to Team George Kolasa."
Throughout his career, Kolasa held senior communications and marketing roles at luxury fashion brands including Burberry, Giorgio Armani, Karl Lagerfeld, Tommy Hilfiger and Polo Ralph Lauren.
According to his Cycle for Survival page, a doctor discovered a tumor the size of a grapefruit on his brain in February 2022. "I felt paralyzed on the left size of my body. I was in the best shape and place I had been in years both physically and mentally, so I knew something was terribly wrong," he wrote of his experience prior to undergoing a CAT scan.
"I was chosen for this, this is a gift and I am going to find a purpose to use what's happening at this moment in my life to help others," he wrote.
One and a half years after being diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), Kolasa said he had completed radiation and chemotherapy treatment.
"Some days I feel like me, others it's more difficult to connect the dots," he shared. "I still can't believe I have brain cancer. Though, in what should be the darkest of times, I have never been filled more with hope, light and energy as I am surrounded by love."