NEW YORK – Designer Virgil Abloh, a prominent fashion executive known as the Karl Lagerfeld of his generation, has died of cancer. He was 41 years old.
Abloh’s death was announced on Sunday by luxury group LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy MC,).
) and off-white label, haute street wear brand Abloh was founded in 2013. Abloh was the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear.
“We are all shocked after this terrible news. Virgil was not only a talented designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great knowledge,” LVMH President and CEO Bernard Arnault said in a statement.
A statement from Abloh’s family On the Instagram account of the designer Said Abloh was diagnosed two years ago with cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare form of cancer in which a tumor forms in the heart.
“Since his diagnosis in 2019, he chose to endure his battles privately, undergoing many challenging treatments, operating several important institutions spanning fashion, art and culture,” the statement said.
In 2018, Abloh became the first black artistic director of men’s wear at Louis Vuitton in the history of the French design house. A first-generation Ghanaian American whose seamstress mother taught her to sew, Abloh had no formal fashion training, but did hold a degree in engineering and a master’s in architecture.
Growing up in Chicago, Abloh was often referred to as a renaissance figure in the fashion world. He moonlighted as a DJ. But in no time, he emerged as one of the most celebrated designers of fashion. Abloh called himself the “creator”. He was named one of Time magazine’s most influential people in 2018,
In 2009, Abloh met Kanye West – as he is now – while working in a screen-printing store. After interning together with him and Yeh at the LVMH brand Fendi, Abloh was the creative director of Yeh. Abloh was the art director for the 2011 Ye-Jay-Z album “Watch the Throne”, for which Abloh was nominated for a Grammy.
Abloh’s work with the West serves as a blueprint for future cross-border cooperation that marries high and low. With Nike, he partnered with his off-white label for a line of frenzy-inducing sneakers remixed with a variety of styles and Helvetica fonts. Abloh also designed furniture for IKEA, refillable bottles for Evian, and Big Mac cartons for McDonald’s. His work was exhibited at the Louvre, the Gagosian and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
Abloh is survived by his wife Shannon Abloh and their children Lowe and Grey.