Virgil Abloh – the black designer who broke all barriers and invented new heights of the traditional luxurious clothing industry for men, breathed his last at the age of 41 here in Chicago.
Virgil Abloh had been fighting rare cancer, cardiac angiosarcoma for the past two years, and lost the battle on Sunday.
Abloh was the artistic director for men’s wear at the prestigious Louis Vuitton and had also founded his brand called Off-White. He had been a prolific designer since the early age of his career and has been an essential collaborator for renowned brands like Evian and Nike.
Virgil Abloh’s fashion approach was known to be “occasionally controversial” as his designs were compared with famous design moguls such as Jeff Koons and even Andy Warhol.
The black designer was one of the first revolutionary fashion designers to successfully transform consumer wear with luxury while hype-beasting the culture of “regular wear”. He is said to have redefined the meaning of “fashion”.
He once quoted on his Instagram “everything I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself. I believe deeply in the power of art to inspire future generations.”
The chairman of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Bernard Arnault released a statement saying “Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom.”
He further stated “A workaholic who maintained a punishing schedule and moonlighted as a DJ and a furniture designer, Mr. Abloh nevertheless seemed to glory in having his fingers in as many pies as possible. Indeed, he referred to himself not as a designer but as a “maker,” in acknowledgment of his omnivorous creative mind.”
Mr. Abloh was promoted to a new designation in LVMH last July which allowed him to work for almost 75 brands of the conglomerate. This new position made him “the most powerful black executive in the most powerful luxury group in the world.”
Ikram Goldman termed him as a “hero.”
Virgil Abloh was born on 30th September 1980 in Rockford III to Ghanaian immigrants and while growing up was immersed and influenced by hip hop and skate culture.
Virgil Abloh is survived by his wife Shannon Abloh and children Grey Abloh and Lowe Abloh.