Virgil Abloh
Credit: Louis Vuitton

In very sad news that will shock many, design visionary Virgil Abloh has passed away, aged 41 years. LVMH released a statement this morning via Twitter and Instagram confirming Abloh’s cause of death as cancer, a rare and aggressive form he had been fighting behind closed doors for some time now.

“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,” the statement reads.

“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,” Chief Executive Officer Bernard Arnault said via the statement. “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.”

Virgil Abloh
PARIS, FRANCE – JULY 05: Virgil Abloh wears a white shirt, a black tie with ‘A Formality’ slogan, a black blazer jacket with multicolored buttons embroidered, black flared suit pants, a gold watch, butterfly sunglasses, outside Louis Vuitton Parfum hosts dinner at Fondation Louis Vuitton, during Paris Fashion Week – Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2021/2022, on July 05, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)

In September of 2019, the artistic director of Louis Vuitton and Chief Executive Officer of Off White – who played a defining role in transforming the sneaker landscape – said he was taking a break from fashion following doctor’s orders, and cancelled several events and appearances. His Instagram account released a statement this morning.

“We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh, a fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend,” it 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,” it reads.

“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.”

Virgil Abloh
DOHA, QATAR – NOVEMBER 04: Virgil Abloh (pictured), Samir Bantal, Director of AMO, the research and design branch of OMA, and Rosanne Somerson, President Emerita of Rhode Island School of Design and Principal of Somerson Studio, participate in a public talk during #QatarCreates on November 4, 2021 at the National Museum of Qatar in Doha. #QatarCreates is a cultural celebration connecting the fields of art, fashion, and design through a diverse program of exhibitions, awards, public talks, and special events, all taking place in the heart of Doha. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Qatar Museums )

“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.”

Tributes from the fashion, art and culture spaces are pouring in for the fashion icon and streetwear designer.

More to come.

thoughts?