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Virgil Abloh, founder of Off-White and Men’s Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton passes away at 41

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(Photo via @lvmh)

Virgil Abloh, the founder of Off-White and the Men’s Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton, has died. Both LVMH and his Instagram account confirmed this afternoon.

“We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend,” the post reads. “He is survived by his loving wife Shannon Abloh, his children Lowe Abloh and Grey Abloh, his sister Edwina Abloh, his parents Nee and Eunice Abloh, and numerous dear friends and colleagues.

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. 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.

We thank you all for your love and support, and we ask for privacy as we grieve and celebrate Virgil’s life.”

LVMH, Louis Vuitton and Off White are devastated to announce the passing of Virgil Abloh, on Sunday, November 28th, of cancer, which he had been battling privately for several years.

“We are all shocked after this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom. The LVMH family joins me in this moment of great sorrow, and we are all thinking of his loved ones after the passing of their husband, their father, their brother or their friend.” Bernard Arnault, LVMH Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Since March 2018, Virgil Abloh was Men’s Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton.

In July 2021, LVMH had acquired a majority stake in Off-White LLC, the trademark owner of Off-White™️, of which Virgil Abloh was the founder and Artistic Director since 2013. Additionally, LVMH and Mr. Abloh had announced the expansion of their relationship to launch new brands and partner with existing ones in a variety of sectors beyond the realm of fashion.

Born in Rockford, Illinois in 1980, Virgil Abloh was an artist, architect, engineer, creative director, and designer. After earning a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin Madison, he completed a Master’s Degree in Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology in a curriculum founded by Mies van der Rohe.

Virgil Abloh’s brand Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh™️ was started in 2012 as an artwork titled “PYREX VISION.” In 2013, the brand premiered a seasonal men’s and women’s fashion label showing runway collections during Paris Fashion Week since 2015.

In 2015, Virgil Abloh for Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh™️ is among the finalists of the LVMH Prize.

Abloh has also presented his work at major design institutions around the globe by the likes of Harvard Graduate School of Design, Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and the Rhode Island School of Design. In 2019 he had a major exhibition of past and current work at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago, Illinois.

Virgil Abloh has been awarded various prizes throughout his outstanding career, most recently winning the British Fashion Awards “Urban Luxe” award and International Designer of the Year at the GQ Men of the Year Awards in 2017.

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