Virgil Abloh, a leading talent and creative polymath who has transformed the face of fashion over the past decade, has died. The shocking news was announced on the designer's Instagram account, and also in a joint statement by LVMH and Louis Vuitton this afternoon, where Abloh had been artistic director of menswear since 2018, together with his own brand Off-White which he launched in 2013. He passed away from cancer, which he was privately diagnosed with some years ago.
Abloh was the first African-American designer to be appointed artistic director at a French luxury fashion house, and revolutionised the face of the industry with his work across fashion, music, art and architecture. Having studied for a master's degree at the Illinois Institute of Technology, he infamously interned at Fendi alongside close friend Kanye West in 2009. Nearly ten years later, the pair made an emotional embrace at Abloh's debut for Louis Vuitton menswear. That year, he also released his first furniture collection with IKEA, and launched his first solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Over the years, collaborations with Nike, Moncler, Mercedes, Jimmy Choo, Takashi Murakami and more have only cemented the industry-wide held respect for the 41 year old.
He will be sorely missed.