Virgil Abloh, the highly influential fashion designer, founder of Off-White and the Men’s Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton, died this afternoon.
The 41-year-old 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.”
Born on Sept. 30, 1980 in Rockford, Ill. to Ghanaian immigrant parents, Abloh studied civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, receiving a bachelor’s degree in 2002, and went on to earn a Master of Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2006.
Following his education, Abloh met rapper Kanye West, who would become one of his first major collaborators in the creative world.
Virgil Abloh is survived by his wife Shannon Abloh, his children Lowe and Grey, his sister Edwina Abloh, and his parents Nee and Eunice Abloh.