Virgil Abloh, the founder of streetwear brand Off-White and menswear director of Louis Vuitton, has died at age 41 from cancer. Louis Vuitton’s parent company LVMH announced the unfortunate news on their website and social media channels on Sunday, November 28. Abloh had been privately battling cancer for several years, all while producing collections and fashion shows for both Off-White and Louis Vuitton menswear.
“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,” said Bernard Arnault, LVMH chairman and CEO, in a statement.
Off-White and Louis Vuitton designer Virgil Abloh passes away
Abloh made history in March 2018 when he became the first Black designer to lead Louis Vuitton’s menswear as artistic director. Just this year, LVMH had acquired a majority stake in Abloh’s Off-White brand. LVMH and Abloh had also announced the expansion of their relationship to launch new brands and partner with existing ones in a variety of sectors beyond fashion.
In September 2019, Abloh did say he was taking a break per doctors’ orders but never specified his illness. His death came as a major surprise to the entire fashion industry.
An award-winning fashion designer, Abloh leaves behind an incredible legacy. Throughout his career he was awarded various prizes, 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. In 2015, Virgil Abloh for Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh™️ was among the finalists of the LVMH Prize.