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Virgil Abloh, Louis Vuitton Designer and Founder Of Off-White, Dies At 41

Two years ago, the designer was diagnosed with cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare, aggressive form of cancer. 

The untimely death of American designer Virgil Abloh has sent shockwaves across the global fashion industry. After a two-year battle with cardiac angiosarcoma—a rare, aggressive form of cancer—the couturier breathed his last, aged 41. In an official statement on Instagram, the Off-White designer's family said, "We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend." 

 

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They added, "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."

Virgil was the artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear collection as well as the CEO of the Milan-based label Off-White, founded in 2012. In the post, his family revealed, "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." As the news gained momentum on social media, eulogies came pouring in for the designer. From Marc Jacobs to Gucci and Kim Jones of Dior, several contemporaries came out to offer their condolences on the internet. 

Bollywood actors including Sonam Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, and Anushka Sharma also paid tribute to the fashion designer who has "gone too soon". LVMH, Louis Vuitton, and Off-White said in a joint statement that they are "devastated" by the news. "We are all shocked after this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer [and] a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and wisdom," said Bernard Arnault, Chief Executive Officer of LVMH. 

Virgil Abloh is survived by his wife Shannon Abloh, children Lowe Abloh and Grey Abloh, sister Edwina Abloh, and parents Nee and Eunice Abloh.