Virgil Abloh, Fashion Designer for Louis Vuitton and Founder of Off-White, Dies, Aged 41

In a tragic start to the week, Louis Vuitton fashion designer Virgil Abloh has passed away at the age of 41 after a secret battle with cancer. Previously hailed as the Karl Lagerfeld of his generation, Virgil was privately fighting cardiac angiosarcoma for the past two years before his death on November 28.

The fashion executive’s family has since released a statement saying he “chose to endure his battle privately” after his diagnosis in 2019. Louis Vuitton, who Virgil revolutionised with his brilliant designs, has also mourned the icon in a public statement.

“We are all shocked after this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom,” Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive of LVMH, said in a statement.

“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.”

Abloh was appointed artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection in 2018 and also founded fashion house Off-White in 2012. He leaves behind his wife Shannon and two children, Lowe and Grey.

Virgil’s family has shared a heartfelt statement on the entrepreneurs Instagram account, saying he had “valiantly battled” cancer since his diagnosis.

“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,” the statement read.

“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.

“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 statement continued: “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.

“We thank you all for your love and support, and we ask for privacy as we grieve and celebrate Virgil’s life.”

This post originally appeared on POPSUGAR Australia.

Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.