By: Lolo Mhlanga
Chief creative director of Louis Vuitton Men’s Wear Virgil Abloh has died after silently battling cancer for two years.
His family announced the passing on Instagram and noted that the artistic designer passed away from a rare, aggressive form of cancer known as 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.”
Abloh came to prominence as Kanye West’s creative designer for DONDA. He then founded the Milan-based brand Off-White in 2014, giving consumers high-end streetwear.
In 2018 he became the first black artistic director of menswear at Louis Vuitton, merging luxury high fashion and streetwear. The influential designer made waves in the fashion world.
“We are all shocked by this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer and a visionary, but he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom,” said Bernard Arnault, the CEO of LVMH.
Vogue Magazine also paid tribute to Abloh, remembering him as “one of the most popular and influential fashion designers of his era. As both the founder of OFF-WHITE and the Creative Director of Menswear for Louis Vuitton.”
Abloh’s work reflected the need to inspire others to uplift their communities. He focused on fundraising for black youth education.
“Opening new doors for the black community has always been, and will always be, the focus of my career,” he states in his advocacy report
Abloh leaves behind his loving wife Shannon Abloh, his children Lowe and Grey Abloh, his sister Edwina Abloh and his parents Nee and Eunice Abloh
A year after losing American actor Chadwick Boseman to a private battle with cancer, both these Influential Forces will be remembered for their resilience to push against all odds.