Virgil Abloh, Creative Head at Louis Vuitton and Off-White designer, dies at 41
Virgil Abloh, creative head at Louis Vuitton and Off-White designer, died yesterday at 41 years old. He had been suffering from an aggressive form of cancer for two years.
Virgil Abloh has been always an ambassador for sustainability, making ethical choices in the manufacturing of his own clothing brand.
Fashion designer Virgil Abloh has died after suffering from cancer. The 41-year-old designer, who was the creative director for Louis Vuitton and Off-White's founder, had cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare, aggressive form of the disease, according to an announcement on his official Instagram page.
“We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh,” it said. “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."
"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. 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.”
There are many messages of condolence that major brands, colleagues, iconic designers and industry creatives have left on their Instagram accounts today.
“We are all shocked after this terrible news,” said Bernard Arnault, LVMH’s chairman and chief executive. Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom. The LVMH family joins me in this moment of great sorrow, and we are all thinking of his loved ones after the passing of their husband, their father, their brother or their friend.”
Off-White: "Off-White, New Guards Group and Farfetch are devastated to share the news of the passing of Virgil Abloh on Sunday, November 28th. Davide De Giglio and Andrea Grilli “Virgil was a genius, a visionary but most of all he was family. 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”. Our thoughts go out to Shannon, Grey, Lowe and all the Abloh family."
Gucci: "We would like to extend our most heartfelt condolences to the loved ones of Virgil Abloh, an immense inspiration to us all both as a designer and as a person. He will be deeply missed though his vision will live on through the trails that he blazed throughout his career."
Stella McCartney: "It is with such a heavy heart that I send my deepest sympathy to Virgil’s family. His wife and babies, he worshiped you, his family at work and all that knew and loved him. My time knowing you was brief, but you hit me hard with a bolt of deeply inspired impact, true talent and a desire to bring a better meaning to the world of fashion and design. You will be missed on so many levels. Rest in peace and fly high… you are and will always be a star with grace and beauty x".
Dior: "I am heartbroken by the news of Virgil Abloh’s passing. He was such a brilliant designer who has paved the way for many young creatives. My thoughts are with his wife and his two children » said @MariaGraziaChiuri as she pays hommage to Abloh's incredible creative legacy."
Gigi Hadid: "I am heartbroken by the loss of my dear friend, and a friend to the world, Virgil Abloh. He was 1 of 1. His kindness and energetic generosity left a lasting impression on every life he touched— he made everyone feel seen and special. He will be deeply missed, cherished, and celebrated by me and all the people and industries that have been lucky enough to work around & know the true supernova behind this man. I picture him now like our Mickey Mouse .. forever with us, forever adored, forever magical, forever guiding us with that special Virgil FUN; I’m sure that’s how he wanted to be remembered, but still it will never be the same without him in the room. You will continue to inspire me every day, V. I feel blessed and honored by every moment. Rest Easy, my friend. You are so loved. You were the difference. As we always said.. “See you somewhere, soon” Sending my deepest condolences, light, and strength to Shannon, their kids, and his whole family."
Justin Timberlake: "What can you say when a force like @virgilabloh is taken too soon? You gave the world so much, in so little time. And created with intensity… knowing better than the rest of us that life is short, but anything is possible. I’m honored to have known you. Thank you for sharing your gift with us."
SUSTAINABILITY AT OFF-WHITE
Abloh had always a creative streak, rising to prominence after a long career of DJ-ing at exclusive clubs and events. It was during this time that he became a Creative Director for Kanye West before launching his own fashion label, Off-White. Fundamentally, Abloh’s brand involves reimagining everyday accessories and clothing with added detail and structure. He claims he started the brand with the idea to change preconceptions of what a typical fashion designer should act like. Since then, he was always open and transparent about his creative process, sharing snippets of the design stages with his millions of followers. This influenced an influx of brands trying to emulate his success, from gym apparel brands to athleisure wear. This has propelled his brand to new heights, becoming a millennial household name.
SUSTAINABILITY AT LOUIS VUITTON
After rumours of him joining several fashion brand surfaced, it came to somewhat of a surprise that he was to join Louis Vuitton. In the first 3 months of his role at Louis Vuitton, the leather goods arm of the label grew by a staggering 16%. With even the most simple of garments subjected to skilled craftsmanship throughout the manufacturing process, it’s no wonder that his formula for Louis Vuitton was working as "his pieces fly off the immaculately polished shelves".