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Designer Virgil Abloh Dead at 41: Many Mourn His Death

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Virgil Abloh, the founder of Off-White, died at age 41 on Nov. 28th. The designer was most well-known for being the creative director to Kanye West. Abloh also broke barriers in luxury fashion through his influence on menswear design, including Louis Vuitton.

According to a statement on Instagram, Virgil suffered from cardiac angiosarcoma, a disease the statement described as “a rare, aggressive form of cancer.” 

Since his diagnosis in 2019, Abloh went through “numerous challenging treatments,” according to the statement. He took a break from fashion in September 2019 after doctor’s orders and cancelled numerous events and fashion shows.

“We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend,” read the statement on Abloh’s account. Abloh leaves behind his wife Shannon Abloh and two children.

Louis Vuitton mourns their beloved designer

Louis Vuitton took to twitter with a heartfelt message to those who loved and adorned. Virgil Abloh.

Virgil’s venture into high fashion

Virgil is famous for being the creative director to Kanye West. He was a Chicago designer who had crafted “Off White” before his Louis Vuitton collaboration. His knack for streetwear meets high fashion was what fashion craved.  He sparked a need for change by showing African Americans can be respected in contributions to what is considered high fashion.

In 2018, he shared with Teen Vogue the inspiration behind his unique style. Uniquely, it was skateboarding, and the styles that went with it, that sparked his interest in fashion,

“All the skateboarding brands that I was into had graphic T-shirts. In the ’90s, there were different styles that went along with the different influences in skateboarding, whether that be hip-hop or rock and roll and grunge. And that’s what I was into, so I was following all that.”

He began his groundbreaking journey with the luxury brand in 2018. Louis Vuitton prestigously appointed Abloh as artistic director of the menswear collection. Upon his arrival he began to implement several ventures to create new brands and partner with those already existing.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of LVMH, Bernard Arnault expressed his excitement about the partnership.

We are thrilled to expand our successful partnership with Virgil. We have already had the privilege of witnessing Virgil’s exceptional creativity and vision through his work with us at Louis Vuitton,” he commented.

Celebrities mourn Virgil Abloh’s death

It is no secret the lives he has touched. His connection to the celebrity community is widespread. He has acted as not only a stylist, but an inspiration to those who have come into contact with him.

Drake shared via Instagram, “My plan is to touch the sky 1000 more times for you…love you eternally brother 🕊thank you for everything”

 

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Virgil before Louis Vuitton

Virgil is also famously known for being the creative director to Kanye West. Specifically, he was a Chicago designer who had crafted “Off White” before his Louis Vuitton collaboration. His knack for streetwear meets high fashion was what fashion craved.  He sparked a need for change by showing African Americans can be respected in contributions to what is considered high fashion.

In 2018, he shared with Teen Vogue the inspiration behind his unique style. Uniquely, it was skateboarding, and the styles that went with it, that sparked his interest in fashion,

“All the skateboarding brands that I was into had graphic T-shirts. In the ’90s, there were different styles that went along with the different influences in skateboarding, whether that be hip-hop or rock and roll and grunge. And that’s what I was into, so I was following all that.”

Ultimately, he has achieved may many only hope. He did so with grace and strength. He shew his gracious spirit as he battled silently with an aggressive cancer. We applaud you Virgil. May your legacy live on.

Written by: Franziska Pugh and Antoinette Ford

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