Virgil Abloh, Off-White Founder and Louis Vuitton Artistic Director, Dies of Cancer at 41
By Mona Khalifeh
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images
Virgil Abloh has died after a private two-year battle with cancer. The artistic director for Louis Vuitton and Off-White founder was 41. Abloh's family confirmed the devastating news on the designer's Instagram Sunday morning.
"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," his family shared in their official statement.
Abloh's family revealed that the designer was battling a "rare, aggressive" form of cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma. The family noted that Abloh chose to keep his diagnosis private while he continued his work in the world of fashion.
"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," the statement continued.
"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," the message notes. "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."
His family concluded their statement by asking for privacy as they grieve Abloh while also celebrating his life and legacy.
"We thank you all for your love and support, and we ask for privacy as we grieve and celebrate Virgil’s life."
Luxury goods company, LVMH also shared the news of Abloh's passing on Twitter in a joint statement that included Off-White and Louis Vuitton, where Abloh served as the artistic director of the fashion house's menswear collection.
"LVMH, Louis Vuitton and Off-White are devastated to announce the passing of Virgil Abloh, on Sunday, November 28th, of cancer, which he had been battling privately for several years," LVMH shared.
"We are all shocked by this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer and a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom," Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH, added. "The LVMH family joins me in this moment of great sorrow and we are all thinking of his loved ones on the passing of their husband, father, brother, son and friend."
LVMH, Louis Vuitton and Off White are devastated to announce the passing of Virgil Abloh, on Sunday, November 28th, of cancer, which he had been battling privately for several years. pic.twitter.com/CytwZLvSFu
Abloh founded the street wear label, Off-White, and served as Kanye West’s longtime creative director before becoming Louis Vuitton's first Black artistic director in 2018, and one of the few Black designers at the helm of the French design house.
ET has reached out to Abloh's reps for more information on the designer's tragic passing.