Virgil Abloh, artistic director of Louis Vuitton, recently died at 41 from cancer. The announcement came from his Instagram on November 28th. The post read, "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.” Along with his death, the world also learned of his battle with a rare aggressive cancer called cardiac angiosarcoma. Virgil was diagnosed in 2019. “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."
Virgil Abloh was born in 1980 in Rockford, Illinois to Ghanaian immigrants. He studied civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology. "My career trajectory started in design in a more traditional multidisciplinary sense, within architecture and engineering before I (started in) fashion," he told CNN.
Virgil has been making fashion headlines since his debut. Virgil Abloh was Louis Vuitton's first black director. He brought a younger demographic to the fashion company with his combination of high-end fashion and men's streetwear, founding the streetwear label Off-White. Celebrities like Timothée Chalamet, Michael B. Jordan, and Chadwick Boseman.
Clothing was not the only thing Virgil designed. He collaborated with Nike to create multiple sneakers under the name, “Off-White x Nike designs.” Abloh even worked with Kanye West, to create his album covers. Abloh pushed the boundaries of what was expected of him, working for Mercedes Benz on an art concept car, and he even worked for IKEA.
Praise has been flooding in for Abloh. CNN called him “one of fashion's most powerful Black men,” British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful called him, "a giant among men," and Daniel Day wrote to Instagram to say, "Virgil's life was a testament to how much Black Lives Matter by showing what black lives are capable of.”